After three consecutive finals, Sam Querrey finally registered a victory at the LA Tennis Open. Querrey defeated 22 year-old Australian qualifier and California native Carsten Ball 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 for his second career ATP title.
Although Querrey was the first to break, Ball bounced back to square the set. But, Ball relinquished his serve again to give Querrey a 5-4 edge. Despite Ball hanging tough, Querrey’s serve and forehand helped him carry the first set.
Initially, neither player had a break point in the second. However, after Ball held at love for 4-3, Querrey made two double faults and sent a forehand long to hand his opponent double break point. Carsten converted with a backhand return winner for 5-3. Then, with a pristine service game, Ball pushed the match to a decisive third set.
Once Querrey guarded serve, when Ball netted a backhand volley, he had break point. A subsequent forehand error from Carsten gave Sam the advantage. Querrey consolidated at love for 3-0. Although Ball won his next service game, it was all he could manage. Querrey got the insurance break for 5-1 and with a strong game concluded the match.
By winning his first matches of the year and making it to his first ATP final, Ball gained valuable experience this week. Victories in the second round over third seed Dmitry Tursonov and in the semifinals over Leonardo Mayer, Mardy Fish’s quarterfinal opponent although Fish never took court due to injury, will be paramount to Ball’s development. Querrey also had an important win over top seed Tommy Haas in the semifinals.
In doubles, Mike and Bob Bryan claimed their fifth LA Tennis Open title by vanquishing Germans Benjamin Becker and Frank Moser 6-4, 7-6.