(December 2, 2013) Nicolas Almagro, the 2013 finalist, and Feliciano Lopez, a 2012 semifinalist, have committed to play the 2014 Fayez Sarofim & Co. US Men’s Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club. These two Spanish players will join defending champion John Isner in the field for the tournament April 7-13.
“It’s wonderful to be able to announce that Nicolas and Feliciano are joining our field the same week we have the individual session and Champs Pass tickets going on sale,” said Tournament Director Van Barry. “Both of these guys proved very popular when they have played at River Oaks in the past, and there’s definitely excitement that they joining John Isner in returning to play in 2014.”
Almagro was runner-up at the 2013 US Men’s Clay Court Championship, falling to Isner in the final. He has led the ATP in clay-court match wins three times in the past six seasons. With a career record of 229-108 on clay courts, he joins Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Tommy Robredo as the only active players with more than 200 wins on clay. He’s second behind only Nadal (36) for career clay court finals with 20, and has won 12 titles on the surface.
Lopez will be making his second appearance at River Oaks. He made the semifinals of the 2012 event before losing to Isner in three sets. Lopez recorded his 300th career match win during the 2013 season and also reached his eighth career ATP World Tour final. Lopez has been a member of four Davis Cup championship teams.
These two Spaniards join Isner, who will attempt to be the first player to successfully defend his US Men’s Clay Court Championship title since Andy Roddick won the 2001 and 2002 titles. Isner is the No. 1 ranked American, and will be making his sixth appearance at the tournament. His title at River Oaks was one of two tournaments he won in 2013, giving him seven for his career.
In 2014, River Oaks Country Club will celebrate hosting a tournament for the 80th time since its inauguration in 1931. The upcoming tournament will also mark the 105th staging of the US Men’s Clay Court Championship.