Winston-Salem, NC (Sports Network) - American favorite Sam Querrey was a hard-fought third-round winner Wednesday at the Winston-Salem Open, a final hardcourt U.S. Open tune-up.
The sixth-seeded California native saved five match points in order to come from behind and sneak past 11th-seeded Finn Jarkko Nieminen, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (12-10), in 2 hours, 10 minutes on the grounds at Wake Forest University. Querrey trailed 3-6 in the deciding tiebreak before coming back to win on his third match point.
Querrey popped 19 aces in a match that featured only three service breaks, including only one from the winner.
Up next for the 6-foot-6 Querrey in the quarterfinals will be Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, who cruised past Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-3, 6-3, on Day 4. Querrey defeated Berankis in a final in Los Angeles last year.
Resurgent seventh-seeded Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco continued his recent fine form by holding off Dutchman Robin Haase, 6-4, 6-7 (8-10), 6-3, while an upset came when ninth-seeded Austrian lefty Jurgen Melzer doused fifth-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire, 6-4, 6-3.
Meanwhile, 13th-seeded oft-injured Russian Dmitry Tursunov tackled compatriot Alex Bogomolov Jr., 6-3, 7-5, to setup a quarterfinal date with Melzer, and Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu drove out American qualifier and two-time NCAA champion Steve Johnson, 6-3, 6-2.