Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Sam Querrey: I'm Pissed at You

Sam Querrey said what?

I get it Sam. You're young and the world is cruel. We dress you up in K-Swiss gear and trot you out there on the red clay under the hot sun so you can entertain us. It's not fair, I get it. And it's not as easy as we think it is. Heck, none of us that wish we could see you reach your true potential have any idea about the sacrifices you've had to make. Let me reiterate: I get it.

Wait a second, I don't get it! I just watched your post-match press conference after your submission to Robby Ginepri, and all I saw is a selfish kid who is quitting on his doubles partner just because he's "not in the mood."

I also watched the match against Ginepri, and to my dismay I saw you walking off the court before your opponent had even hit the ball at set point. It reminded me of Luke Wilson's character in the Royal Tennenbaums, who takes his shoes off during a match because he's distraught about his girlfriend.

I'm not sure if I can forgive you just yet, Sam Querrey. I must say, you were pretty honest in the press conference, and I have a lot of respect for that - but how is it that you could feel so much indifference to Grand Slam tennis? This is no small matter Sam, we could have a serious problem here.

Here are some of the quotes from that aforementioned press conference:

Q. What happened out there, Sam?
SAM QUERREY: Um, just tired. Not into it. Mentally not there. I mean, you know what, I don't know. Just not did not enjoy myself out there. It's been like that on and off for like a while. So I'm going home tomorrow.

Q. Is it a natural reaction just being over here?
SAM QUERREY: No. I don't know what it is. I just need to just be in a better mood or just need to enjoy the competition and enjoy being out there more than I do. Right now, I mean, I'll enjoy it, and as soon as one thing goes wrong, I'm done.

Q. Where is home that you're going back to?
SAM QUERREY: California.

Q. Were you in dubs with John?
SAM QUERREY: I am right now. I won't be in about an hour.

Q. Just want to get out of here?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah.

Part of me wants to tell Querrey that he's made incredible strides over the last 18 months, and he shouldn't take his uninspiring 4-set loss to Robby Ginepri - a mere blip in an otherwise upward trend - so hard.

Querrey is young after all, and he'll undoubtedly have to run a few hard miles before he reaches his destination. Monday's flame-out doesn't mean it's the end of the rope for the 22-year-old. But other parts of me are unmercifully critical of his performance on the court. It's one thing to go out battling to survive, but it is another thing entirely to quit. And quit is basically what Querrey did - he even admits to "tanking" in his press conference. At times Querrey was so perturbed, so disinterested, that he might as well have laid down on the court and taken a nap while Ginepri continued to play.

So where do I go from here, now that I am pissed at Sam Querrey? Should I call my local congressman? Should I sell all my Querrey shares and by some Roddick stock - a blue-chipper - which still has some upside left? Should I pick up a bundle of Kei Nishikori and John Isner and forget about him?

No! No! and No!

I may be mad at Sam Querrey but that doesn't mean I'm ever going to abandon him. He's a good kid, and he's got depth and intelligence and creativity. He just needs a little bit of that soldier mentality. He needs to play like his merry band of rowdy followers, the Samurai, is in the stands wherever he goes. Because even if the Samurai aren't in the stands, you can bet that they still are glued to their televisions or computers, hanging on every shot that Querrey hits.

To have the expectations of all your friends and family constantly on your shoulders is definitely a lot of pressure for any 22-year-old to deal with. But it is reality.

Sam Querrey is a remarkably gifted player with enought talent to easily take him higher than his current ranking. But the laid back Californian has to want to reach this potential in his heart - his fans can't do it for him.

Especially when those fans are pissed off that he just played the French Open like it was a knock-around at a family picnic.

7 comments:

  1. I agree with you. A well written blog. Sam may have tanked a singles match but he should have been professional enough to stay and play the doubles. He has a total lack of respect for his partner.

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  2. My belief is that Sam will learn from this. He's capable of winning on clay, and, I believe, capable of enjoying the game on clay. Maybe he just needs to tone down the schedule a bit.

    He overplayed to be sure - but that's no excuse for bailing when you get to the most important event.

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  3. No excuse for bailing, but I'm sure if Isner really wanted to play he would have told him. They had played a lot of doubles, he might have been burnt out from it too and wanting to focus on singles. As for his mentality, he's not stepping up to his responsibilities for American tennis that's for sure, but if anything he will learn from this and hopefully never feel as down again. I'm sure Roddick and Blake have felt this but never voiced it. So fans have a right to be upset I think but not give up hope on him entirely. We all know he has the weapons to be the #1 American.

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  4. I agree that the most lame thing Querrey did was pull out of the doubles with Isner, but who knows if that was a mutual decision or not. I do agree with Querrey when said that although winning ATP250 events is good, it's not doing anything for his ranking or game. He knows he has to step it up in the Slams but he's can't play every event like Wozniacki does on the WTA and get away with it. Querrey could hang around the top 20 for awhile, but I don't see him breaking into the top tier unless he develops a weapon (and serve is not it) or better attitude on court.

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  5. I honestly have never believed in Sam Querrey and those who say he can turn around his career are kidding themselves. I for one believe he should of went to college and worked on his game mentally and physically. He is essentially Andy Roddick with less talent. He can't adapt to situations, improve on areas of this game (ie. net play and footwork) and he doesn't have the mental fortitude as someone who is fighting for every penny on the tour. Give up on him already Samurias.

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  6. I am a amateur junior tennis player(not really good), and I am a double player.

    I understand what the "mood" is in doubles. In order to win in doubles, you and your teammate must make a "mood" which fires up each other. If you play with someone who doesn't communicate with you, or just plain doesn't have a will to win, of course you will want to quit playing doubles.

    Singles and doubles are totally different things. Communication and fast thinking are required in doubles, and if you lack on one of those two, the possibilities in winning are low.

    Sam switched from singles to doubles, and I don't think he or the other person (John) understood the "mood" system or whatnot.

    I wrote this based on my experience, so I may be mistaken, but this is what I think.

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