STARNBERG, April 9, 2018
The ATP World Tour’s only event in Africa and only clay-court event in North America take place this week at Marrakech and Houston, respectively. Twelve clay-court tournaments will be held over the next seven weeks leading into Roland Garros held from 27 May to 10 June.
Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas leads the Grand Prix Hassan II field, while German Philipp Kohlschreiber returns a year after holding five championship points against Borna Coric in the Marrakech final. The top seed will open his title bid against Moroccan wild card entry Amine Ahouda. The No. 3 seed from Germany will start against local favourite Lamine Ouahab. The tournament’s No. 2 Kyle Edmund will face Jiri Vesely in the first round.
Isner to headline Houston field
John Isner looks to carry the momentum from his Miami Open presented by Itaú triumph into the Fayez Sarofim & Co U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, where he won the title in 2013. After a first round bye, the World No. 9 from the United States awaits either German wild card Dustin Brown or Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland to open his home campaign. Four other former champions (Steve Johnson, Jack Sock, Fernando Verdasco and Ivo Karlovic) are also competing, and Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios is making his debut.