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Sam Querrey’s Wimbledon run ended by Marin Cilic in semis; Roger Federer advances to final

Sam Querrey of the United States reacts as

Sam Querrey of the United States reacts as he loses a point to Croatia's Marin Cilic during their Men's Singles semifinal match on day eleven at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) Credit: AP / Alastair Grant

WIMBLEDON, England — Sam Querrey said he played well and that he knows he is a good tennis player. But on Friday, he wasn’t quite good enough.

Marin Cilic, who has won a Grand Slam, who was a higher seed, who was 4-0 against Querrey, beat him in a Wimbledon semifinal, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5.

“You know,” Querrey said, “I kind of felt he pushed me around a little bit.’’

America’s men have been pushed around at Wimbledon the last few years. There hasn’t been an American champion since Pete Sampras in 2000, and no American has made the final since Andy Roddick in 2009.

Roger Federer won that year, and after beating Tomas Berdych, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4, in Friday’s other semifinal, he will play Cilic in Sunday’s final, favored to win his eighth Wimbledon title.

“Roger seems to be playing at a level that’s as good as he ever played,” Querrey said. “Marin is going to have his hands full.”

Querrey, who grew up in Southern California, certainly had his hands full with Cilic.

It probably was too much to hope the 29-year-old Querrey, the No. 24 seed who had never been this far in any major, could defeat Cilic, the No. 7 seed and the 2014 U.S. Open champion. Especially after the great effort by Querrey in his upset of top-ranked Andy Murray, the defending champion, in the quarterfinals.

“I had that break in the fourth [set],” Querrey said. “When he broke me back, he just played a great game. You know, kind of deflated me a little bit. He didn’t seem to have many holes. I played him a handful of times before. Lost a bunch. But he did seem to play at a high level.”

Querrey was a high school star and was offered a tennis scholarship at USC. But years earlier, his father, Mike, had bypassed a chance to sign with the Detroit Tigers after they drafted him, instead attending the University of Arizona. He never made it in pro baseball. So at age 18 in 2006, Sam began to play tennis as a pro.

His progress was slowed when in 2009, on tour in Malaysia, he suffered a severe cut to his right arm after a glass coffee table on which he was leaning shattered.

This Wimbledon, Querrey’s best finish ever in a Slam, was satisfying.

“It’s been a fun run,” he said. “You know it’s given me some confidence. I feel like I’ve really had some ups over the last year and there are more of those to come.”

In Acapulco in March, he beat Rafael Nadal in the final to become the first American in 24 years to win the Abierto Mexicano Telcel.

On Thursday, Querrey was introduced to the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green, who was attending Wimbledon for the first time. “But I’m a Lakers fan,” Querrey said. “Not going to be too nice to him.”

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