Washington - The player who beat Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon is ready to get back on the court.
Sam Querrey has been on the ATP Tour for a decade, but he arrived at the Citi Open with an entirely different level of celebrity after knocking off the No 1-ranked player in the world. Many more people know who he is now after that upset and a subsequent trip to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
"I got to do 'Good morning America,' I got to throw the first pitch out at the Dodger game, I got to do a GQ photo shoot," Querrey said on Monday. "That's usually not my normal week."
Querrey took some time off and now hopes to build on the Djokovic victory this week in Washington and at other events this summer. The 28-year-old picked up some confidence along the way but doesn't feel like a different player.
"It was an incredible 10 days for me and something I'll always remember," said Querrey, who's now ranked 29th in the world. "I still view myself as a good player. I thought I was good before the match. I think I'm still a good player now."
Querrey beat Djokovic in a five-set thriller, then dispatched Nicolas Mahut in straight sets before losing to Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals. The only players left on his wish list are Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, but his giant-killing reputation preceded him when he was asked if there's any other player he'd like to beat.
"I mean I'd love to beat every player," Querrey said. "If I get to play Roger or Rafa, those are kind of the two big-name guys that I've never beat, that'd be incredible. But we'll see if that happens."
Querrey won't see those players this week at the Citi Open, which features American John Isner and Frenchman Gael Monfils as the top two seeds. The eighth-seeded American will face either Bjorn Fratangelo or qualifier Alex Kuznetsov in his first match, and his summer goal is to get back into the top 20.
On the women's side of the tournament, Australian Samantha Stosur is the top seed and easily took care of qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 6-0 in her opening match on Monday. With the conditions as hot and humid as Querrey said he has ever experienced, Stosur calmly advanced without much difficulty.
"The start was a little bit close and then once I got that first break of serve, then I really was able to loosen up and play well and maybe she got a little bit deflated as well," Stosur said.
Defending champion Sloane Stephens is the No 2 seed and opens against Japan's Risa Ozaki. She said it feels normal to be back but has felt a noticeable boost from winning a tournament.
"It's kind of just been a weight lifted," Stephens said. "I think it was kind of a relief that I kind of got that out of the way."
Likewise, Querrey made a name for himself at Wimbledon but may have created some higher expectations for himself in the process.
"I'm trying to kind of put it behind me and move on," Querrey said. "I just want to kind of continue on with the momentum and keep working and focusing on my ranking and moving in the right direction."
Results on Monday from the first day of the ATP and WTA Washington Open (x denotes seed):
Daniel Evans (GBR) bt Benjamin Becker (GER) 6-2, 6-1
James Duckworth (AUS) bt Tim Smyczek (USA) 7-5, 6-1
John Millman (AUS) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 7-5, 6-0
Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) bt Alex Kuznetsov (USA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM) 6-3, 6-2
Samantha Stosur (AUS x1) bt Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 6-3, 6-0
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL x7) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 7-5, 6-4
Zhang Shuai (CHN) bt Zhu Lin (CHN) 7-5, 6-4