HOUSTON, April 16, 2018
Steve Johnson retained his Houston title during an emotional singles final on Sunday, beating fellow US-American Tennys Sandgren 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-4 at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship.
The No. 6 seed capitalized on two of his 14 break point chances and won one point more than his opponent to prevail after two hours and 22 minutes.
Johnson became the first US-American to go back-to-back in Houston since Andy Roddick in 2001-02. The win was particularly emotional for Johnson, whose father, Steve Johnson Sr., died 11 months ago. Johnson’s 2017 Houston title was the last match his dad saw of him.
“I’m just happy to be sitting at the end of the week a winner,” Johnson said. “Any chance you can have to have a title is incredible. So I’m very happy to be holding that trophy at the end of the week.”
The 28-year-old hoisted his third ATP World Tour trophy, taking away $99,375 in prize money as well as 250 ATP ranking points.
On Saturday, Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Austria’s Philipp Oswald took their third team title, rallying past Andre Begeman from Germany and Antonio Sancic of Croatia 6-7, 6-4, 11-9 in the doubles final. The encounter lasted one hour and 36 minutes.
“I’m definitely coming to the end of my career and I hope I have another go here next year,” said Mirnyi. “It’s my first title in Houston after all these years. I want to thank my partner Philipp after coming from Davis Cup in Russia last week and fighting through jet lag and different weather conditions. And I also want to thank my daughter, manager and coach Petra. She’s done a great job this week.”