U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship is the only clay event in the USA of the ATP level. At first sight, it seems to be very convenient for the locals. However, considering the specifics of the US tennis school and the surface of the tournament (clay has never favored the US players), native competitors rarely please the fans. The event is considered to be a practicing one before the Monte-Carlo Masters that kicks off on April, 16. Many players will reveal their current form here.
Weather and Courts
The weather in Texas is expected to be rainy this week with torments and 25-29°C. It will decrease the bounce height and will benefit the strong and powerful players.Also, we should keep in mind that the American red clay in Houston (used at this event only) is the fastest on tour.
At the end of90s – beginning of 2000s US players dominated at the event. Andy Roddick holds three titles (2001, 2002, 2005). Today, American players triumph every second year taking turns with the Spaniards and Argentines. Experience shows that those who spend enough time practicing before the event get a significant advantage.
This year there are as many native players as never before. It gives more chances to see US player triumphing. Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, John Isner, and Steve Johnson are the favorites to the title. Currently, these guys are competing at the Davis Cup in Australia and will be back to the US continent in course of the event. There are also Taylor Fritz and FrancesTaifoe who desperately search wins but will hardly survive against the big names.
Donald Young has been showing solid tennis lately but may be in trouble due to the surface change.
Fernando Verdasco is also expected to show good tennis but the Spaniard is to face Kevin Anderson in the opening match and will have to try really hard to progress further.
The defending champion Juan Monaco will seek to repeat his triumph. The Argentine shall be red-hot on clay but his physical form is what counts.
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