Thirteen Americans in the 24-player field (prior to qualifiers being determined) make for an American reunion this week in Houston, where six of the eight seeds are from the U.S.
American Steve Johnson sliced his way to the title last year, but this year will be challenged to repeat. The No. 6 seed sits behind John Isner, Sam Querrey, Jack Sock, Nick Kyrgios, and Fernando Verdasco, and has been handed a tough draw facing some of the top emerging American stars.
FAYEZ SAROFIM & CO. U.S. MEN’S CLAY COURT CHAMPIONSHIP
HOUSTON, Texas, USA; Surface: clay
Seeds: John Isner, Sam Querrey, Jack Sock, Nick Kyrgios, Fernando Verdasco, Steve Johnson, Ryan Harrison, Tennys Sandgren
Floaters: (WC) Dustin Brown, Ernesto Escobedo, Taylor Fritz
An all-American turnout sees six of the eight seeds from the U.S…Isner the lone Top 10 seed…
Look for the gassed Isner to go out early after winning Miami then Davis Cup over the weekend…Nice draw for (2) Querrey to meet (4) Kyrgios in the semis…
Interesting starts for (1) Isner vs. the disruptive (WC) Brown, the struggling (6) Johnson vs. American riser Escobedo (then the Frances Tiafoe-Mackenzie McDonald winner), and (7) Harrison vs. a qualifier then the all-American Tim Smyczek-Fritz winner…
Wildcards went to Brown, Kyrgios, and American Mackenzie McDonald…
Pulling out of the event were Kevin Anderson, Jeremy Chardy, Chung Hyeon, Lukas Lacko, Feliciano Lopez and John Millman…
The Bryan brothers are the top seeds in doubles…Doubles wildcards went to Brown/Frances Tiafoe and Ivo Karlovic/Daniel Nestor…
Johnson is the defending champion, last year outlasting Thomaz Bellucci 7-6 in the third…Johnson looking to join back-to-back champions Andy Roddick (2002-01), Jose Luis Clerc (1981-80) and Jimmy Connors (1979-78).
Former champs in the field are Johnson (2017), Sock (2015), Verdasco (2014), Isner (2013), and Karlovic (2007).
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