Sam Querrey, Andy Murray advance to finals of Farmers Classic
The tennis was compelling if not always technically perfect. There were wild swings of quality and of mood between defending champion and second-seeded Sam Querrey and sixth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic in the semifinals of the Farmers Classic on Saturday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
When Tipsarevic jumped way ahead in the second-set tiebreak, Querrey suddenly decided to pack a punch in his forehand.
When Querrey roared from behind to win that set, Tipsarevic responded with a stylish service break to start the third.
For 2 hours 47 minutes, there were few moments when a winner seemed obvious. It wasn’t until the final game that Querrey’s power overtook Tipsarevic’s speed, and finally the 22-year-old from Thousand Oaks moved into the final with a 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Tipsarevic, 26, of Serbia.
Querrey will try to become the first man since Andre Agassi in 2001 and 2002 to win consecutive titles here when he meets top-seeded Andy Murray. Murray, who is No. 4 in the world, beat fourth-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain on Saturday night, 6-0, 1-6, 6-4.
Querrey has lost all four of his previous matches against Murray. The last time the top two seeded players made it to the final of this tournament was in 1999 when second-seeded Pete Sampras beat top-seeded Andre Agassi, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (1).
Some history might also be made Sunday. Bob and Mike Bryan, the twins from Camarillo, will aim for the 62nd doubles title of their career.
If they win, they will move past Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge as the winningest men’s team ever. The Bryans beat Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, 6-2, 6-4. The Bryans seemed in a rush to history when they won the first four games of the semifinals in 12 minutes, and Bob said he expected that he and his brother would suffer from nerves Sunday.
Querrey doesn’t seem to suffer from nerves as much as from mood swings. His body language is a travelogue of the voyage from a loudly hit forehand winner up the line to an ill-timed double fault, from a running backhand winner off a drop shot to a sinking line drive volley that plops into the net instead of over it.
Tipsarevic offered little praise for Querrey after the match.
“I should have never lost,” Tipsarevic said. “I saw him a little bit tired, his serve was not all that strong at the end, so this was very disappointing for me.
“All credit to him, though. He’s managed to get out of two matches that, in my opinion, he should have lost. When it’s important, he was coming up with the big shots.”
Querrey had needed to go three long sets in his quarterfinal win over 34-year-old Rainer Schuettler before winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (4). And during the third set Saturday, Querrey had an emergency food delivery to give him an energy infusion.
“It was an awesome match,” Querrey said. “A lot of fun, a lot of drama there.”
Querrey has won three titles this season; only the world’s No. 1-ranked player — Rafael Nadal, with five — has more.