HOUSTON — Steve Johnson shrugged off quite a few missed alternatives to beat first-time ATP Tour finalist Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-Four on Sunday to turn out to be the primary participant to efficiently defend the U.S. Males’s Clay Courtroom title in 16 years.
Johnson, a 28-year-old from Palos Verdes, California, gained solely two of the 14 break factors he had towards Sandgren’s serve, however the second within the penultimate recreation of the almost two-and-a-half-hour match put him in place to serve for the match, his third three-setter in a row.
Johnson then fended off a break level himself and secured the title, solely his third on the ATP stage, when Sandgren lofted a backhand return a few ft lengthy.
“I felt like I could have taken more advantage of all those break points,” Johnson stated. “I didn’t play the way I would have liked to play, and then he started to play good at the end of the second set. In the third set, I was just hanging on at the beginning and trying to fight off his momentum. A final is not like any other match, but you try to trick yourself into thinking it is. That’s what the top guys do so well.”
No participant had repeated in the one males’s clay-court event within the U.S. since Andy Roddick gained back-to-back at a distinct venue in 2001-02. It was the second all-American ultimate since Andre Agassi prevented Roddick from taking his third in a row in 2003, after Jack Sock‘s victory over Sam Querrey in 2015.
Johnson will marry longtime girlfriend Kendall Bateman on Saturday in California. Fellow professionals John Isner, Querrey and Dennis Kudla will function groomsmen.
“Now it’s all wedding stuff,” he stated. “I’ll go home, take a few days to relax, go golf a little bit in Palm Springs.”