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Chela Quells Querrey For Clay Title In Houston

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Chela Quells Querrey For Clay Title In Houston

After ousting defending champ Lleyton Hewitt in the quarters, veteran Juan Ignacio Chela stopped third seed Sam Querrey in the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship final. Chela prevailed 5-7,6-4,6-3 for his first trophy since 2007 and the fifth of his career, all on clay.

Following a backhand down the line error, Querrey faced break point. By serving and volleying well, Querrey held for 2 all.  Then, with a forehand up the line winner, Querrey had his first break point.  By provoking a forehand mistake from Chela, Querrey broke for 4-3.  Trying to consolidate, Querrey committed a myriad of unforced errors which allowed Chela to level the set at 4 all.  Later, when Chela dumped a forehand crosscourt into the net, Querrey had double break point.  Sam converted with a forehand volley winner for 6-5.  Subsequently, with a love game, Querrey ended the set.

With back to back winners, Chela held a multiple deuce game which included a break point to start the second set.  After a similar battle, Querrey guarded serve for 1 all.  From then on, Querrey cruised on serve while Chela struggled a bit.  When at 3 all Chela committed a backhand error, Querrey arrived at break point.  However, a costly forehand mistake effaced Querrey’s chance at the lead.  Despite four deuces, Chela kept serve to stay ahead 4-3. Ultimately, Querrey’s inconsistent play caused his frustration to mount.  Serving at 4-5 and 40-15, Querrey reached a dropshot by Chela but placed the forehand wide.  Then, when Chela surprised him with a forehand return winner, the players were at deuce.  After Querrey double faulted on game point, Chela connected on a forehand down the line winner for set point.  When Querrey’s forehand landed long, the match was driven to a third set.

Querrey began the final set by breaking Chela.  However, with three consecutive errors, Sam stared at triple break point.  When Chela converted a forehand crosscourt winner, the set was squared at 1 all.  Down double break point his next game, Querrey bailed himself out with his serve.  But, after a quick hold by Chela, Querrey was behind again 15-40.  Once more, Querrey responded and maintained serve for 3 all.  For Sam though, it was a case of going to the well too many times.  After two forehand miscues and a double fault, Querrey faced triple break point.  By enticing a forehand error from Querrey, Chela pocketed the break for 5-3.  Subsequently, on double championship point, Querrey sent a forehand return out of play giving the Argentine the trophy.

Irrespective of the finals, for Querrey, it was a sensational week.  The American beat 2009 finalist Wayne Odesnik in the a testy semifinal match to reach his first career final on clay.  Odesnik is under investigation for doping violation.  Already this year Sam has one title; he won in Memphis. From 25, Querrey’s ranking will rise.  Chela will also improve his seating from 82 to the top 50.

Last evening, in the doubles final, Mike & Bob Bryan defeated Stephen Huss and Wesley Moodie for their second second straight title.  This was a rematch of the 2005 Wimbledon doubles final whereby the latter team vanquished the Bryan brothers.

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