Sam Querrey has done it again.
A year after ending Novak Djokovic’s incredible streak of 30 straight wins at majors, Querrey has defeated the World No. 1 and Wimbledon defending champion for the second year in a row, this time against Andy Murray.
Trailing by a set and a break, Querrey, 29, came back to beat Murray, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1 to reach his first career Grand Slam semifinal. He becomes the only active man to do so, becoming the first since Andy Roddick, who last reached that stage when he nearly won Wimbledon in 2009. Roddick retired nearly five years ago.
Most attempts before reaching a 1st Slam singles SF (men Open era)
Sam Querrey 42
Mark Woodforde 38
Colin Dibley 37
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) July 12, 2017
The match appeared over when Querrey’s missed smash in the third set tiebreaker spiraled into a runaway for Murray, but shockingly, the American reeled off nine games in a row following Murray’s hold to start the fourth set.
Both players impacted this turn of events, as Querrey entered his red-hot mode seen against Djokovic last year and Rafael Nadal in the Acapulco final earlier this year, while Murray’s balky hip finally was too much to overcome. After withdrawing from a pair of exhibitions, Murray said before the tournament that he hoped to play his body into shape but it was not to be.
Per the ATP, Querrey becomes the first man to win three consecutive five-setters at Wimbledon since Janko Tipsarevic in 2007. Querrey beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a match that stretched to a second day, then knocked off Kevin Anderson to return to the quarterfinals, where he lost last year to Milos Raonic.
With a loss of 1640 points, Murray’s inability to defend his title puts his No. 1 officially at risk. After falling all the way to fourth after the French Open, Djokovic can reclaim the top spot by winning the tournament, though he soon defends the title in Canada. If Djokovic does not win Wimbledon, then Nadal would be the leader in the clubhouse for the top seed at the U.S. Open.
Meanwhile, Querrey will face Marin Cilic, with the winner reaching his first Wimbledon final. Cilic’s only previous major final saw him win the 2014 U.S. Open.