Indianapolis, Indiana - Third seed Sam Querrey set a winning example Monday in the first round of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships to line up a rematch of a final he lost just eight days ago.
The highest-ranking US player in the field after the injury withdrawal of losing Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick defeated veteran Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-3, 6-4.
"Maybe the spotlight is on me a bit, but I don't mind at all," said Querrey. "Of course it would be better if Andy, James (Blake), Mardy (Fish) and the Bryan brothers were here. But they have other things going on."
Querrey led fellow seeds Marc Gicquel of France (seventh) and number eight Uzbek Denis Istomin into the second round. In addition, good friend John Isner, who has only just returned to the court after two and a half months of glandular fever, followed suit, defeating France's Josselin Ouanna 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).
2007 finalist Frank Dancevic of Canada started with a victory over Bobby Reynolds 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), winning his first match in the series after losing to the American last year at Wimbledon and in the 2008 Indy first round.
"I've never felt better about my serve," said a confident Querrey after winning into a match against Indiana's own Rajeev Ram, winner when the pair played the final on grass at Newport.
"It's great to get another shot at Ram. He's confident, and he's won seven out of his last eight matches if you count Newport qualifying. He plays well and has talent at the net.
"It will be a tough one for me," said Querrey, twice an Indianapolis semi-finalist. "We may be playing in his hometown, but I have a decent support group of my own."
Against Gulbis, Gicquel handed the 20-year-old from Riga his eighth loss of the season in the first round of a tournament 6-2, 6- 3.
Gulbis has not put two winning matches together for almost a year since reaching the August 2008 quarter-finals at the Cincinnati Masters.
Eighth-seeded Istomin of Uzbekistan staged a comeback over US journeyman Kevin Kim, advancing 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. (dpa)