You know who I haven't been that impressed with lately? Sam Querrey. You know who I have been impressed with? John Isner. So you can imagine my surprise when the Memphis final turned out the way it is.
Since James Blake slid down the rankings like melting butter, the search has been on for the next American wunderkind. Mardy Fish was a little old for the job, and Sam Querrey seemed to be the prime candidate. He had a few seriously quality months last year where he scored some awesome wins. And then he sat on that glass coffee table and things started not going so well.
Enter Isner. He'd been around for a while, but then he started, you know, being all good. I think his real big break probably came in the US Open last year when he beat Andy Roddick in the third round, but Big John had been coming hard for a while. Both he and Querrey play Karlovician tennis - however, I would argue, that John is more Ivo than Ivo. Ivo may be taller, but John at the net...
I think the reason I am so surprised at this result coming out of Memphis is that Querrey and Isner have similar games - the Dr Ivo style of tennis, based around a monstrous serve. However, Querrey seemed to me to be declining and Isner to be rising, and not just because Querrey fell through that coffee table. It seems to me - and, despite this result, it still does - that Isner and Querrey play the same style, only Isner is better at it.
It happens, I suppose. And Isner did have the match on his racquet in that second set tiebreak. There was some real mental toughness involved in this match - as there always is, I suppose, when you have a match that is centred around tiebreakers. I was still surprised, however... and I'll be interested to see how this rivalry plays out in the future. Because it seems to me that Isner, not Querrey, is going to be Andy Roddick's bridesmaid in the long term.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago