Americans John Isner, Sam Querrey, and Steve Johnson to Play U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship


(January 27, 2015) HOUSTON – The top three Americans on the ATP World Tour rankings will play at River Oaks in April during the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship.

John Isner, the 2013 tournament champion, will be joined by his countrymen Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson, playing singles at the tournament while fellow Americans Bob and Mike Bryan highlight the doubles draw.

The trio of American singles players joins a field that will include defending champion Fernando Verdasco, Kevin Anderson and Feliciano Lopez for the April 6-12 tournament.

Five of these six singles players reached at least the third round at the Australian Open. Anderson and Lopez both reach the fourth round, while Johnson, Isner and Verdasco made it to the third round.

Isner has won at least two titles in each of the past four seasons on the ATP World Tour. During each of the past three seasons, Isner has finished as the No. 1 ranked American. He has an 11-6 record at River Oaks, including the title in 2013 and a run to the final in 2012.

Querrey has finished in the Top 50 of the ATP rankings six times in the last seven years, including this past season. He has won seven career titles in 12 finals. Querrey is 7-5 in his career at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, including a run to the final in 2010 and the semifinals in 2014.

Johnson completed career-best season in 2014, improving his ranking by over 120 positions during the year. He won back-to-back NCAA titles while playing at USC. As a pro in 2014, he reached the semifinals in Delray Beach and four other quarterfinals. Johnson will be playing at River Oaks for the third time. Both previous appearances ended with a loss to Verdasco.

These player commitments were announced as a new tournament website was launched. www.usmensclaycourt.com.


Fernando Verdasco Wins Houston Title


Fernando Verdasco

Fernando Verdasco

(April 13, 2014) Spain’s Fernando Verdasco ended a four-year streak without a singles title on Sunday by winning the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston over countryman Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 7-6(4). Verdasco if the fifth ATP player over 30 to capture an event this year. His last tournament win was back in 2010 in Barcelona.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve won a singles title,” Verdasco said. It’s a very important day for me to win a tournament after a few years and after the injury in my knee the last couple years.”

“I’ve been happy the way I’ve been feeling the whole week. In general, I think I had ups and downs, but it’s normal. In tough matches on clay you are not always 100 per cent every point physically, and you just need to try to be tough mentally.

“I think the key was my mentality during the week. I kept going every point no matter how tired or how good I was feeling. Didn’t finish perfect since we lost yesterday in the doubles final when we were close to winning, but it was great that I’m able to win the singles title.”

“He played a really good match today, and he’s the winner,” Almagro said. “It was a battle today, and he was really concentrated on his serve. I had many chances and I didn’t [take them], and that’s the key of the match.”

Almagro was the losing finalist last year as well, falling to John Isner.

“You are never happy when you lose a final,” he said. “I had my chances. But I credit Fernando.”


Isner Takes US Men’s Clay Court Championship


(April 14, 2013) American John Isner defeated Spain’s Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 7-5 in the final of the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Sunday.

The win gave Isner his first tournament victory of the 2013, his first clay court title and the sixth tournament title of his career. He hit a tournament record 64 aces, 7 during the final.

“I’ve always known I could play well on clay,” Isner said. “This week is a little surprising, as Monday was the first day I hit a ball on clay since September. I knew it was going to be a tough adjustment and that I had to find a way to get through my first match. My second match was really close. I felt I played better each and every round. I played well yesterday and even better today.”

“He did a really good job today, “Almagro said. “He played aggressive. He served like normal, but today was tough for me. I want to congratulate him, because he’s a really good player and a good person and I think he did a good job this week.”


Isner spoke about how he won the match: “I was able to go for my shots and be effective on the baseline, especially with my forehand. I was really proud with how I played after going down 1-3 (to win) five games in a row. I played exceptionally well those five games.”


Singles – Final
[5] J Isner (USA) d [1] N Almagro (ESP) 63 75


Berankis Stops Second Seed Haas in Houston


Singles – Second Round
[1] N Almagro (ESP) d G Monfils (FRA) 26 60 63
R Berankis (LTU) d [2] T Haas (GER) 63 63
[3] J Monaco (ARG) d T Smyczek (USA) 76(5) 61
[5] J Isner (USA) d [WC] J Sock (USA) 75 67(3) 76(3)
R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) d [6] F Verdasco (ESP) 63 62
[7] P Lorenzi (ITA) d F Cipolla (ITA) 76(4) 61
[WC] R Williams (USA) d *[LL] I Karlovic (CRO) 64 67(5) 76(3)
[Q] R Ginepri (USA) d M Alund (ARG) 62 46 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d P Marx (GER) / F Mergea (ROU) 75 62
J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Levine (CAN) d [3] T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) 64 75
J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) d [4] E Butorac (USA) / J Erlich (ISR) 64 62
N Almagro (ESP) / R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) d [WC] S Johnson (USA) / J Sock (USA) 60 64

Doubles – First Round
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d O Marach (AUT) / A Sa (BRA) 60 61
[WC] S Johnson (USA) / J Sock (USA) d [2] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) 61 76(5)

*[LL] I Karlovic (CRO) replaced [4] S Querrey (USA) – right pectoral muscle strain


CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
[WC] R Williams (USA) vs R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP)
[1] N Almagro (ESP) vs [7] P Lorenzi (ITA)
Not Before 3:30 PM
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Levine (CAN)
Not Before 6:00 PM
[5] J Isner (USA) vs R Berankis (LTU)
[Q] R Ginepri (USA) vs [3] J Monaco (ARG)

COURT 3 not before 4:00 PM
J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) vs N Almagro (ESP) / R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) – After suitable rest