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Ram, Querrey set up all-American final in Delray Beach

February 20, 2016 06:50 PM

By Sally Milano and E.J. Crawford, USTA.com

It will be an all-American final in Delray Beach.

Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., stunned No. 4 seed and world No. 28 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, 6-4, 6-3, Saturday afternoon, and Sam Querrey ended Juan Martin del Potro's first tournament run in a year with a 7-5, 7-5 victory in the nightcap.

With the victories, Ram reached his third career ATP final, while Querrey wll be seeking his first tour title since Los Angeles in 2012. Ram's two previous finals, both of which he won, came in Newport in 2009 and 2015.

The 31-year-old Ram has had an impressive run to the Delray Beach final, defeating No. 2 seed Bernard Tomic, 7-6 (3), 6-1, in the first round, Illya Marchenko, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, in the second round, and Benjamin Becker, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, in the quarterfinals.

The veteran Ram blasted six aces and did not face a break point against Dimitrov in the semifinals, improving his career record against the Bulgarian to 2-0.

“I felt calm at the start of the match. I had a good game plan going out,” Ram told ATPWorldTour.com following the match. “[Dimitrov] made some adjustments, but I thought I was pretty good the whole way.

“I wanted to make sure I was on offense a lot. I didn’t want to run side-to-side chasing his forehand.”

With his victory Saturday, Ram improved his record to 6-4 this year, with half of his wins coming against players ranked in the world's Top 30, including Kevin Anderson at the Australian Open and Tomic and Dimitrov this week in Delray Beach.

Ram, who is currently ranked No. 89, will reach a new career-high ranking on Monday. His previous high rank was No. 78 in the world in November 2009.

The 28-year-old Querrey, meantime, served brilliantly in ousting the 2009 US Open champion – he did not face a break point in the match – who was coming back from an 11-month layoff following two surgeries on his left wrist last year. Querrey, currently No. 61 in the world, will be playing in his 15th career tour final against his fellow American.

"That's the best I've played so far and I did a good job of taking care of my own serve," Querrey told atpworldtour.com. "I got a couple late breaks in each set. There were a couple chances here and there and I managed to get those.

"It's always exciting to make a final. I've known Rajeev for 11 years. He's got that Pete Sampras flat forehand and will serve and volley. It's a different game from many guys. He'll chip the ball around. That will be tough, especially in the day."