HOUSTON — Defending champion Steve Johnson wore down Taylor Fritz 7-5, 6-7 (four), 6-2 on Saturday, breaking his 20-year-old countryman twice within the third set after letting two match factors slip away within the second set of the U.S. Males’s Clay Court docket semifinals.
“To get my hands on that trophy [again] would mean a lot, both tennis-wise and emotion-wise,” Johnson stated.
With one other win Sunday, which might be Johnson’s ninth in a row in Houston, the 26-year-old Californian would be the first repeat champion since Andy Roddick in 2001-02.
The 26-year-old Sandgren, from Nashville, Tennessee, wobbled within the second set, throwing in three double faults within the sixth sport to let the 6-foot-11 Karlovic get again on serve, after which he needed to fend off a set level towards his serve. However he stated he did not let “my negative side get the best of me,” and he once more proved to be the stronger participant within the tiebreaker.