All five Americans playing at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship won on Thursday, advancing to the quarter-finals of the singles play.
24-year-old from Nebraska Jack Sock, the top-seeded at an ATP World Tour tournament for the first time in his career, defeated former World No. 2, Tommy Haas of Germany 6-4 3-6 6-3, to book his 5th quarterfinal of the year. Further, the win marked his 19th in 2017, at par with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most ATP match victories.
No.2 seed, 31-year-old from North Carolina John Isner hit the Center Court play against Argentine qualifier Leonardo Mayer, winning a thriller 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 6-3 match in two hours and fifteen minutes. He posted 20 aces in the win, reaching his sixth quarterfinal in the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in 10 years. Also, Isner, the 2013 winner at River Oaks entered the event just after participating in Brisbane, Australia for Team U.S.A. in Davis Cup.
Pulling off one of the biggest upsets of 2017 by beating Rafael Nadal in Mexican Open Final, No.3 seed Sam Querrey from California kept the American winning express going as he ousted Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 6-4 to book his fourth straight U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship quarterfinal. He will face No.8 seed Thomaz Bellucci next.
Another Californian Steve Johnson started his campaign against the aggressive and flamboyant Jamaican-German Dustin Brown, who knocked out defending champion Juan Monaco in the opening round. However, the No.4 seed Johnson managed a 7-6(12), 6-4 straight sets win. Johnson will be playing his fifth quarterfinal of the year, and first-ever at Houston and will meet Fernando Verdasco next, who leads the head-to-head record 4-0.
One more Californian, the youngest in the tournament 20-year-old Ernesto Escobedo made the rounds as he knocked out Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to advance to his first ATP World Tour quarterfinal. The NextGenATP rising star will meet Isner next.
The five Americans into the ‘quarterfinals’ is the most at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship since 2002.