The red clay grind continued Friday at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship as eight remaining men took the court for the quarterfinals.
First on Center Court was 2012 champion Juan Monaco taking on two-time finalist Sam Querrey.
The Argentine lost just five points on serve in the opening set en route to clinching it 6-4. After facing an early break in the second, it looked as though Querrey may put together a comeback, but Monaco was able to close out the big server in 74 minutes. He improves his record against the American to 5-1.
The former champ is back in the semifinals at River Oaks for the third time, the first time since 2013. He’ll meet Feliciano Lopez for a spot in the final.
Lopez needed just 70 minutes to score a 6-2 6-3 win over American wild card Tim Smyczek. The Spaniard saved the one break point he faced and in turn broke Smyczek three times to secure a comfortable victory.
The No.3 seed is through to his second semifinal at River Oaks, having reached this stage of the event in 2012 before losing to John Isner. He holds a 4-2 record against Monaco. The pair have split their previous two meetings on clay.
Top seed John Isner faced a tough test in 19-year-old Hyeon Chung. The former champion saved all seven break points he faced and fired off 13 aces en route to defeating the Korean 7-6(5), 6-4.
The victory marked Isner’s 10th match-win of the year, and gave the American a semifinal berth here for the third time in his career. Next up: fellow countryman Jack Sock.
The defending champion came out firing Friday night, losing just two points on his first serve en route to ousting No.7 seed Marcos Baghdatis 6-4 6-4.
Isner leads the pair’s head-to-head 4-2, having won their previous two meetings on clay, including a 2013 Houston run-in that went three sets.
Bob and Mike Bryan posted their 35th match-win here, defeating fellow all-American team of Steve Johnson-Sam Querrey 7-6(5) 6-3. The twin tandem, who saved all four break points faced today, is through to their eighth final at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, having won the title five times before.
The brothers will meet Victor Estrella Burgos and Santiago Gonzalez, who are through to their first U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship final together.
Saturday play kicks off at 1pm at River Oaks.