US Clay players attained achievements over the summer from career milestones to hoisting tournament trophies.
2013 Houston champion John Isner capped off his summer by earning the title in Atlanta for the sixth time, going on a nine-match win streak en route to a semifinal appearance at the ATP Masters 1000 in Toronto. Just three days after his semifinal run in Toronto, the 11-time Houston participant became the second player on the ATP Tour to reach 13,000 career aces in his victory over Houston’s No. 3 seed in 2019 Cameron Norrie in Cincinnati.
"Very cool. I do know that I'm within shouting distance of Ivo (Karlovic), of maybe getting that record (of most career aces)," Isner said following his victory over Norrie. "If he does retire soon, that certainly is a milestone that seems attainable, the all-time record milestone. I would like to hold that record, I'm not going to shy away from that. We'll see if I can get there."
Despite losing to Isner in Cincinnati, Norrie also had a successful summer. After earning his first finalist finish at an ATP 500 tournament in London/Queen’s Club, Norrie claimed his first singles title on the ATP Tour at Los Cabos.
2019 Houston finalist Casper Ruud raced his way to a career-high No. 11 ranking after winning titles in Geneva, Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel. Ruud capped off the summer by reaching the quarterfinals at a pair of ATP Masters 1000 events in Toronto and Cincinnati, winning his 100th career match over three-time Houston participant Reilly Opelka in the second round in Cincinnati.
“It was a fun way to get your 100th win. A 7-6 in the third win is always probably one of the greatest feelings in the game, especially against a player like Opelka, where every point matters,” Ruud told ATPTour.com. “The match could be turned around in one or two points and decided in one or two points. It was a great way to get my 100th win.”
Opelka started his summer with a semifinal run at the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome and followed that up by finishing as a finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 in Toronto. The 24-year-old ended the summer by not losing a set on his way to the Round of 16 at the US Open, his best career finish at a Major.
2019 Houston top seed Steve Johnson excelled in doubles, finishing as a finalist in Atlanta and Cincinnati before going on a semifinals run with fellow American Sam Querrey at the US Open. Querrey, a 2019 Houston semifinalist, earned his 10th finalist finish on the ATP Tour when he was the runner-up at Mallorca.
Marcel Granollers reached the singles quarterfinals in Houston in 2019, but his most notable summer triumphs came in doubles. Granollers and doubles partner Horacio Zeballos, the 2017 Houston doubles champion, won two ATP Masters 1000 doubles titles along with a pair of strong Grand Slam showings. Granollers & Zeballos were the doubles finalists at Wimbledon and ended the summer with a quarterfinals finish at the US Open.
Other Houston fan favorites such as Americans Taylor Fritz and Mackenzie McDonald along with Pablo Cuevas and Jordan Thompson also had notable performances over the summer. McDonald reached his first finals in an ATP Tour event in Washington, D.C. while Fritz reached the semifinals in Los Cabos and Atlanta. Cuevas collected the title in Lyon on the ATP Challenger Tour and Thompson reached the semifinals in both singles and doubles in Newport along with being a doubles finalist in Atlanta.
The 2022 Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship takes place April 2-10 at the River Oaks Country Club. West Grandstand season packages go on sale November 1 while daily tickets and the Champ Pass for finals weekend go on sale December 12. More ticket information can be found here.