Two former Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship winners, Jack Sock (2015) and Juan Monaco (2012), will meet in Sunday's singles final.
It’s clear River Oaks suits defending champion Sock’s game. He boasts an 11-2 lifetime record here, compared to 10-8 elsewhere on clay courts.
Last year, Sock lost the first set of his opening round match. He has not lost one since, rattling off victories in 16 straight sets while compiling an eight-match winning streak at River Oaks.
Sock is looking to be the first champion here to not lose a set since Lleyton Hewitt in 2009. He’s also bidding to be the first repeat champion since Andy Roddick in 2001-02.
While Sock boasts a hot hand here, Monaco brings a veteran’s clay court savvy into the final match. Monaco stands fifth among active players for clay court match wins with a 231-136 record on the surface. He has won seven titles from 19 finals on the surface.
At 32, Monaco would be the tournament’s oldest champion since Andre Agassi won at that same age in 2003.
Monaco, a former River Oaks International finalist, missed the end of the 2015 with a wrist injury that also delayed his start to the 2016 season. A win Sunday would propel his ranking back into the Top 100 and assure him a berth into the French Open.
Sunday’s final will be the fifth time in the Open Era two past champions are meeting in the final, and this is the first time since 2003 when Agassi defeated Roddick.
This year’s champion will be the eighth player to have won this title multiple times in the Open Era. The most recent multiple winners were Agassi (2003 and 1988) and Roddick (2005, 2002 and 2001).