Querrey beats Ram for first ATP title since 2012

 22 Feb 2016 - 7:27

 Querrey beats Ram for first ATP title since 2012
Sam Querrey of the U.S. returns a shot to Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro after Querrey won their men's semi-final match at the Delray Beach Open tennis tournament in Delray Beach, Florida February 20, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity


Delray Beach, United States: Sam Querrey captured his first ATP title since 2012 on Sunday, defeating Rajeev Ram 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) in an all-American final at the Delray Beach Open.

Querrey won six of the last seven points in the tie-breaker, taking the match after 85 minutes with a running forehand winner that barely caught the backline and withstood a replay challenge.

It was the eighth career title for 61st-ranked Querrey, but his first since Los Angeles in 2012. He had not reached a final since last year at Nottingham.

Querrey had failed to advance past the second round of any tournament since last July until reaching last week's Memphis semi-finals.

"It's nice to be back and feel great," Querrey said. "It's really exciting."

Ram sent a forehand long to surrender a break and the opening set after only 34 minutes. Ram went up an early break in the second set, but Querrey hit a backhand winner down the line to break back to level at 2-2 and they battled into the tie-breaker.

Ram seized a 5-2 lead but Querrey followed with a service winner and ace, then leveled when Ram hit a forehand wide only to have Ram reach set point with a backhand volley.

Querrey responded with a second-serve ace that survived a challenge, then swatted a forehand winner to reach match point and made his final swing a trophy taker.

"He had a great week," Ram said. "To come out in February and win a title already is really impressive."

Ram, ranked 89th, is set to surpass his career-high 78th spot on Monday. He failed in a bid for his third career crown after winning on the Newport grass in 2009 and last year in his only other ATP finals.

Ram, 31, beat Querrey, 28, in that 2009 Newport final in their first ATP meeting, but has lost their four encounters since.
AFP