ATP Nottingham: Sam Querrey defeats fellow American Ernesto Escobedo in straight sets

Sam Querrey produced a comprehensive performance, firing down 15 aces in 58 minutes as he defeated fellow American Ernesto Escobedo 6-4, 6-4 to book his place in the third round of the Aegon Open.

The fifth seed makes a fast start

Querrey was a runner-up here in Nottingham last year, losing out to Denis Istomin and was facing his compatriot Escobedo, a 19-year-old qualifier, who had a fine 6-0, 6-3 win over Diego Schwartzman in the first round, his first ATP Tour level win. In the pair’s first meeting, the fifth seed got off to a fast start against the qualifier, breaking the world number 277 early on to take a 3-1 lead.

Escobedo was in fine form, having won three matches in three days here at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, but was under pressure when serving to stay in the set at 30-30. The qualifier produced an excellent drop shot volley winner to reach game point. He was then pushed to deuce but came through to hold.

When serving for the set, Escobedo missed an aggressive second serve return which would have got him to 0-30. The qualifier pushed Querrey to 30-30, but the fifth seed fired down two aces to secure the set 6-4.

Querrey only faced three break points in the match, all coming in the fifth game of the second set. Photo: Getty
Querrey only faced three break points in the match, all coming in the fifth game of the second set. Photo: Getty

The qualifier gets an opportunity

In the second set, both players held serve comfortably in their opening couple of service games, but it was the fifth seed who blipped first in the fifth game, making unforced errors to trail 0-40 after missing a backhand wide. Querrey forced the qualifier into errors to save the first two opportunities, dictating the points with huge forehands. The world number 33, a former champion at The Queen’s Club utilised his big serve to great effect as he has done throughout the year’s on serve, firing down a couple of aces thereafter to hold serve.

That proved to be the pivotal moment in the second set as Querrey went on to break the qualifier’s serve in the next game to take a 4-3 lead after the 19-year-old produced some ill-timed errors following the disappointment of failing to break in the previous game.

Both players held their subsequent service games before Querrey closed out the match in front of packed crowd out on Court 1, holding to love to complete a straight sets win and book his place in the third round. The fifth seed now awaits the winner of the match between the ninth seed Marcos Baghdatis and Evgeny Donskoy.

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