At this time a year ago, American tennis player Sam Querrey was having surgery on his right elbow. Soon thereafter, his ranking dropped out of the top 100.
On Friday at Wimbledon, he pounded one last ace, thrust his arms overhead and let out a scream. With his booming serve and forehand back in gear, the 24-year-old Querrey matters again at Grand Slam tournaments.
He hit 21 aces and eliminated 21st-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada 6-7 (3), 7-6 (7), 7-6 (8), 6-4 to reach the third round at the All England Club. The match was suspended because of darkness the night before in the third set.
"Usually I'm pretty calm and collected after a win or loss, but, yeah, kind of let it out there a little bit at the end. It just felt good," said Querrey, who used to be a member of the top 20 and is currently 64th.
"I was out for a while, and I feel like I'm coming back. Ranking is moving up," he added. "Just nice to be in the third round of a Slam again."
He last made it this far in a major tournament when he got to the fourth round at the 2010 U.S. Open. That matched his best showing at one of the sport's top four events.
Querrey can once again get to the round of 16 by getting past another tough test in No. 16 Marin Cilic of Croatia.
Against Raonic, Querrey served at up to 136 mph and was broken only once.
"When I was out for three or four months, the first few weeks back, I wasn't ... going after my serve 100 percent, like I used to, because I knew what that pain felt like," he explained. "It probably took a month, once I was playing again, to really trust myself again with the motion of swinging all out on my serve."