Querrey wins third title at LA event
Sam Querrey continued his career-long domination at his home Farmers Classic in Los Angeles on Sunday as he hammered Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis 6-0, 6-2 to win the tournament for the third time in as many appearances.
The southern Californian, who stood 17th on the ATP 18 months ago before injuries, will improve his current 57th rank to around 37, according to preliminary calculations.
Querrey has won 13 straight matches at the UCLA event and last lost a match at the tournament in 2007. He moves alongside Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi as a three-time champion.
"It feels pretty good to be mentioned with those guys, they all did some pretty amazing things," said Querrey.
"I feel like I always play well here," said the winner of seven career trophies. "I grew up playing in this area and I'm comfortable on this court. It all came together for me this week - especially today."
Berankis, the number 141, was completely overwhelmed in the first final in history for a Lithuanian player. The former world junior champion lost the first nine games as the final looked to be edging towards the first 6-0, 6-0 loss in a final in ATP history.
But doomsday scenario evaporated as Berankis, smiling throughout his ordeal, drew huge applause as he won his first game of the afternoon for 1-3 with a drop shot which Querrey could not reach.
The 22-year-old made the 51-minute rout slightly competitive as he won another game before Querrey took the title from a Berankis backhand long on a second match point.
The American finished with eight aces and 17 winners, breaking his opponent five times. Berankis had 19 unforced errors.
"He was a bit nervous in the first set, but I just focussed on my game, my serve and my forehand," said the winner. "When I was up 6-0, 3-0, I knew that I would not just cruise for three more games.
"I knew there would be some tough moments. I got through some tight points with my serve and won them.
"I'd not seen him play too much but I knew what to expect from his game. I just focussed on me and let him see if he could beat my game."
Querrey won LA in 2009 and in 2010, when he beat Andy Murray for the title. He missed 2011 as he recovered from elbow surgery.
The big hitter hopes to carry his momentum forward into next week's Washington event.
"I just want to keep this up and keep playing well this sumsummer. I want to keep it going. I'm gonna try to continue and ride the train and play well through the US Open. I want to be seeded there.
"I'd also love to get back into the top 20. My goal is to stay injury-free, and I'm feeling great right now."