Those who came out to watch the semifinals of the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles certainly got their monies worth as both matches went the distance. But in the end, the expected final meeting between top seeds Andy Murray and Sam Querrey was booked for Sunday despite both players not showing their best form all week. Meanwhile, during tonight’s Andy Murray/Feliciano Lopez semifinal, ESPN analyst Darren Cahill addressed the circulating rumors that he might become Murray’s full-time coach. Cahill simply said, “That can’t be me.”
The afternoon’s matchup between local favorite Sam Querrey and the charismatic Janko Tipsarevic went almost three hours before Querrey prevailed 6-7, 7-6, 6-4. Many expected Querrey to hit through the shorter Tipsarevic, but it was Tipsarevic who moved Querrey around, mixed up his serves to great effectiveness and forced the American to come up with some spectacular shots, especially in the second set tiebreak, when down 5-1, Querrey hit a stab backhand while Tipsarevic was up at net that eventually forced an error from the Serb. Querrey rallied to take the second set breaker but lost his serve early in the third set. However, Tipsarevic couldn’t keep the momentum going as he gave back the break and then in the final game found himself losing in the rallies to the steadier Querrey who managed to keep his emotions in check after earlier in the tournament he described himself as “Debbie Downer” for getting too negative on court in close moments.
In the night session, Murray raced off with the first set 6-0 and it wasn’t until Lopez held for the first time at 1-1 in the second set that Lopez seemed to to finally relax. After that, the Spanish lefty starting swinging away, especially with a topspin backhand that pinned Murray to the baseline allowing Lopez to come into net with ease. Along with being frustrated with Lopez’s play, Murray used up all his challenges early and was never really happy with any of the line calls. The second set went to Lopez also in a flash but by the start of the third, errors crept back into Lopez’s game giving Murray an early break that he never let go of. Murray took the match 6-0, 1-6, 6-4 after Lopez netted an easy forehand.
After the match, Lopez said he felt nervous in the opening stages and had some difficulty adjusting to the lights having not played a night match during the event. When asked why the third set slipped away from him, Lopez said, “After beating (James) Blake yesterday I was so confident and I was looking forward to playing against Andy. But against the No. 4 player in the world you always need something more to win.”
But probably the biggest news was made off of the court when during the ESPN broadcast of the Murray/Lopez match, Cliff Drysdale asked fellow analyst Darren Cahill to speak to the rumors that he might become Murray’s new coach. Cahill, who repeated Murray’s reasoning that he needs someone full-time, simply said, “That can’t be me.” and cited his prior commitments to working for ESPN and his consulting duties with the Adidas Player Development Team.
Murray, who hasn’t lost a set to Querrey in four previous meetings, will be looking to win his first ATP title this year while Querrey seeks his third title of the year having already won Memphis, Belgrade and Queen’s Club (London).