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LONDON – Sam Querrey made his mark at Wimbledon last week, and made his exit this week.
The big-serving American, who eliminated two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round, lost to sixth-seeded Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 on Wednesday in the quarterfinals at the All England Club.
"I don't think I played poorly at all," Querrey said. "I knew he had a big serve, obviously, but I was really impressed with his net game. He really didn't miss a volley today. He kept coming forward, kept the pressure on me, and I felt it."
Querrey defeated Djokovic on Saturday, becoming the first American to beat a top-ranked player at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren downed John McEnroe in the 1985 quarterfinals. Querrey was also the first American to play in the quarterfinals at any major tournament since the 2011 U.S. Open.
But against Raonic, a Canadian who will face seven-time champion Roger Federer in the semifinals, Querrey couldn't get the upper hand.
"You go games on his serve where you might get one return in play," said Querrey, who was playing in the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career. "On my service games, he was taking cuts at second-serve returns. You don't feel like you really get a rhythm out there."
Raonic has recently starting working with McEnroe, and it's already helping.
The 25-year-old Canadian reached his first grass-court final ahead of Wimbledon, losing to Andy Murray at Queen's Club.
"First things we focused on when we were spending a week of training was really about not passing up any opportunities to come forward," Raonic said, "to always keep the pressure on my opponents, keep them guessing, making them feel uncomfortable, trying to make them play unbalanced as much as possible.
"Then when we played the tournament at Queen's, when I was playing, it sort of shifted to obviously putting those things in effect, but also about attitude on the court throughout matches, having a bigger presence, trying to make a difference."
If Raonic can dictate play on Friday against Federer, he should have a chance to reach his first major final. The seven-time champion from Switzerland reached the semifinals after coming back from a two-set deficit to beat Marin Cilic in five.
And Raonic has experience now, even though he was on the losing end two years ago when he lost to Federer in the Wimbledon semifinals.
"I think from every aspect, I've improved. I know what I need to do on court better," Raonic said. "I know how to sort of turn things around to get them on my terms. I know what I'm looking for."