With the cancellation of the 2020 BNP Paribas Open, Tennis Channel is re-airing matches from previous Indian Wells tournaments. This match can be seen on Thursday at 6:00 PM ET/3:00 PM PT.
It’s safe to say only hardcore tennis fans knew about Sam Querrey’s first-round opponent at last year’s BNP Paribas open. Was he tall? Yes. A huge hitter? For sure. But at that point he was just another talented Italian player trying to climb up the rankings.
With just five ATP wins to his name on the season, it’s what then-world No. 57 Matteo Berrettini would do after his 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4 loss to Querrey that would put his name on the map, and into the world Top 10.
A Southern California native, Querrey is no stranger to the gale-force desert winds that can wreak havoc on good, clean tennis.
“It was one of those matches I’m happy to just kind of get through it.” Querrey said after the match. “It was windy all day.”
If you asked Querrey how he felt about his performance today, knowing the caliber of player he'd just beaten, he’d probably be a bit more excited.
Querrey expresses his frustration after trailing 3-0 in the first set. (Getty Images)
Things started slow for the American, who found himself in a 3-0, 40-0 hole in the first set. Somehow, Querrey broke back, and would go on to win the set in a tiebreak. (If you are a tennis player and find yourself up 40-0 on your service game, take your time, and a few deep breaths. Make sure you win that game. Terrible things always happen to players that cough up 40-love leads on their serve. It’s like a running-back fumbling on the goal line. It just can't happen.)
Berrettini would go on to win the Phoenix Challenger the next week, kickstarting a phenomenal 2019 run into the Top 10. (Getty Images)
Berrettini would bounce back to take the second set, 6-2, his raw power and potential fully on display. But Querrey would secure his break in the third and never look back.
Querrey would go on to lose to Milos Raonic in the next round, while Berrettini would travel to the Phoenix Challenger where he would take the title. But this match was a memorable one in its own right.