Seeded players struggle in Indianapolis

July 24, 2009 06:30 AM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Sam Querrey was one of the few seeded players who escaped the second round of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships with a victory.

Querrey, seeded third, beat fellow American Rajeev Ram 7-5, 6-3 on Thursday. Ram beat Querrey in the finals of the ATP Hall of Fame Championship in Newport, R.I., on July 12 for his first ATP title.

This time, Querrey used his power to get 13 aces and keep Ram off balance.

``I feel like I played well,'' Querrey said. ``I served well, hit my forehand well, I got to some balls I don't normally get to. Raj is tough. He's got a big serve.''

Querrey advanced to play No. 7 seed Marc Gicquel of France on Friday in the quarterfinals. Gicquel defeated American Jesse Levine 6-2, 6-2.

Top-seed Dmitry Tursunov advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Marcos Daniel of Brazil.

Tursunov, Querrey and Gicquel are the only seeded players to advance to the quarterfinals.

American Alex Bogomolov beat No. 2 seed Dudi Sela of Israel on Thursday. American Wayne Odesnik beat No. 4 seed Igor Kunitsyn of Russia, Frank Dancevic of Canada beat No. 5 seed Benjamin Becker of Germany and American John Isner beat No. 8 seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

Ram played high school tennis at nearby Carmel High School, and the crowd supported the local star. He got off to a good start, but his serve failed him and he suffered a left calf injury late in the first set.

The first set was tied at 5-all before Querrey finished off the next game with two aces to go up 6-5. Shortly after that, Ram felt a sharp pain in his leg.

``Up until 5-6, 15-all, it was a pretty darn good match,'' Ram said.

Querrey had set point before Ram rallied to gain the advantage. Ram double-faulted with a chance to force a tiebreaker, and Querrey took the next two points to win the set.

Querrey said he noticed the change in Ram's game after the injury.

``I saw him go up to the referee and ask for the trainer,'' Querrey said. ``I know he's been taping that for the last couple weeks. You could tell it started to bother him late in the first set. It's always a bummer. You never want to see that happen to a guy.''

Ram is concerned because it's the same injury he had during qualifications for the Hall of Fame tournament. He withdrew from the event, but stepped in when Mardy Fish withdrew to join the Davis Cup team.

``I'm trying to think long term, how I can prevent this from happening,'' Ram said.

In the second set, Querrey led 1-0 and was up 40-30 in the game when Ram double-faulted again. Querrey rolled to a 3-0 lead before a two-hour rain delay. Ram didn't have the mobility to mount a serious comeback when play resumed.

Querrey said the grass court at the Hall of Fame tournament allowed Ram to ``chip and charge'' and negate his power because the ball came up lower than on other surfaces. The hard court at Indianapolis did not favor that strategy.

Querrey wasn't happy about the rain delay, but looked forward to the next round.

``I didn't like it,'' he said. ``Usually, when you're up and you've got the momentum, you just want to finish it out. You don't want a rain delay. Fortunately, it didn't hurt me today.''

In doubles quarterfinals, Ashley Fisher and Jordan Kerr of Australia defeated Levine and Sela 2-6, 6-2, 10-7 and Becker and Kunitsyn defeated Ram and Rik De Voest of South Africa 6-4, 6-1.