Sam Querrey, who took over as the No. 1 ranked American when he beat Australia's Marinko Matosevic 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 here Tuesday in the third round of BNP Paribas Open, would have taken up the game earlier if he had not found it so daunting.
"I did play tennis when I was 8, but I had more interest in baseball and soccer and things like that," said the 6-foot-6 giant, who was born in San Francisco.
"I think they're just easier to play when you are younger. Tennis now has those soft trainer balls and a smaller net, so if I had had those, maybe I would have been more into tennis, because I would have been a little better."
Luckily for the American game, Querrey did start to play tennis more seriously, and has now overtaken John Isner, who lost in the first round here and slipped out of the top 20.
Querrey will move up sufficiently in the ATP rankings to ensure that the U.S. does have at least one player in the world's top 20.
"It means a lot,"...