Querrey wins LA Tennis Open

August 2, 2009 09:00 PM
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Sam Querrey ended a string of final round frustrations Sunday by beating Carsten Bell 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to claim the L.A. Tennis Open title.

Querrey was playing in his third straight final and fourth of the season, but he had yet to win a tournament.

"I didn't want to lose three finals in a row," said the 21-year-old Querrey, who lives in nearby Santa Monica and had to come up with about 120 tickets for family, friends and his raucous "Samurai" fan club.

"I was a little worried after that second set, I was really mad at myself, but I came back strong in the third."

The sixth-seeded Querrey had lost in the finals at New Zealand to Juan Martin Del Potro in January, and the last two weeks he came up short in the championship match at Newport, R.I., and Indianapolis.

Querrey became the fifth player to reach the finals in four events this season, joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Querrey's second career victory will move him to No. 30 in the ATP rankings.

His first victory came in 2008 at Las Vegas.

Ball, a 22-year-old left-hander, had to qualify to get into the tournament.

"He started to get a good read on my second serve and was hitting a fair amount of winners and just putting a lot of pressure on me [in the second set]," Querrey said. "Before the third set I just sat down and collected myself and went out in that third set and had a higher first-serve percentage. I didn't want to hit a lot of second serves. That was the key."

Bell was playing his eighth match of the week and he admitted to being a little tired, but didn't consider that a factor in the match.

"I think Sam definitely stepped up his game and started making a lot more first serves and putting a lot of pressure on my serve," said Ball, who was catching a plane Sunday night to fly to a Challenger level tournament in Vancouver, Canada.

Ball, who never had won a match on tour before this event, said he was "a little disappointed that I lost, but in the big picture it's more than I could have hoped for for this week to be able to be here."

Twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, the top seeds, won their fifth L.A. Tennis Open title with a 6-4, 7-6 (2) victory over Benjamin Becker and Frank Moser.