Sam Querrey became the first American man to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since 2009, shocking world number one and defending champion Andy Murray 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-1 at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
Murray looked sharp early, breaking Querrey in his opening service game to open up an early 2-0 advantage. The Briton served well in the opening set as he didn’t face a break point to win the first set.
A break at 3-3 had Murray on the verge of a two-sets-to-love lead, but Querrey rallied to win the final three games, including two breaks, to win the second set and knot things at one set a piece.
After Murray outplayed Querrey in a third-set tiebreak it looked as if he would take the momentum for good, but the American had other ideas.
He would win 12 of the match’s final 14 games, taking advantage of a clearly-hobbled Murray to stun the British crowd and knock out the defending champion.
Querrey is the first American into the final four of a major since Andy Roddick reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2009. It also marks the second straight year that Querrey has ousted the tournament’s defending champion, having defeated Novak Djokovic last year.
“I’m still in a little bit of shock myself. I’m just thrilled right now,” Querrey said afterwards. “I didn’t start my best, I just kept with it, kept swinging away and then just kind of found my rhythm in the fourth and fifth set and then everything seemed to be falling my way then. This is a dream come true. To be in the semifinals and for it to be at Wimbledon makes it a little more special.”
He did continue to swing away and he didn’t miss often. Over the final two sets, Querrey hit 30 winners to just four unforced errors.
Querrey will take on former U.S. Open champion and seventh-seed Marin Cilic, who knocked out 16th seed Gilles Muller 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 in his quarterfinal match Wednesday.
The last time these two played at Wimbledon was in 2015, when Cilic won a marathon 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-7(3), 17-5. Cilic is 4-0 all-time against Querrey.