HOUSTON, April 14, 2019
Sunday’s singles final at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship will feature 20-year-old Casper Ruud of Norway against 22-year-old Christian Garin from Chile. Both are playing at River Oaks for the first time and both are seeking their maiden ATP Tour title. The championship match is the youngest US Clay final since Fernando Gonzalez, 19, defeated Nicolas Massu, 20, in 2000 during the event’s last year in Orlando.
On Saturday, Ruud stopped the great run of Colombian qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan, winning 7-5, 6-2. The World No. 95 from Oslo won 78 per cent of his first service games and 56 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and 32 minutes.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be in your first final. It’s what we work hard for,” Ruud was quoted on the ATP Tour website. “But even though it’s been an amazing week, I’m hungry to win the last match.”
Ruud is the youngest player to reach the US Clay finals since 19-year-old Andy Roddick lifted the trophy in 2002. Ruud’s father, Christian, had success at the River Oaks International. He won the title in 1996 and was runner-up in 2001. Christian is back at River Oaks this week coaching Casper. Ruud is appearing in his first ATP final, becoming the first Norwegian to reach an ATP title match since his father did so at Bastad in 1995.
Garin upsets Querrey
Earlier in the day, Garin knocked out No. 8 seeded US-American Sam Querrey. The World No. 73 from Santiago de Chile withstood seven aces, breaking his opponent’s serve three times to secure a 7-6(2), 6-2 victory in one hour and 23 minutes.
2nd ATP final for Christian Garin! 🇨🇱
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 13. April 2019
“The conditions today were slow and windy, which is really good for me,” said Garin. “I was really focused in the second set and I think he was a bit tired in the end, but I’m playing really well.”
Garin is appearing in his second ATP Tour final in as many main draw appearances. He reached his first-ever final in February at Sao Paulo. Garin would be the first ATP winner from Chile since Gonzalez won at Viña del Mar in 2009. Gonzalez is also the last Chilean US Clay winner, taking the 2000 title over countryman Massu.
The only previous meeting between these two came just six weeks ago in the Sao Paulo semi-finals. Garin was a 6-4, 6-4 winner in that match.
Doubles final set
The doubles final will feature British brothers Ken and Neal Skupski against Santiago Gonzalez from Mexico and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan.
The Skupskis are seeking their second title and playing in their sixth final together. Ken owns four career titles while Neal has won a pair. Gonzalez and Qureshi have reached their second final together, after a runner-up finish at February’s New York Open. Gonzalez has won 12 titles with five partners, and is contesting his 24th career final.
Qureshi has won 16 career titles with nine partners, competing in his 36th career final.
Tournament organizers presented a check for $20,000 to the Pediatric Trauma Unit at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital on Saturday. The donation was proceeds from the Ticket Turnback Program, which allows patrons to donate tickets they cannot use back for resale, with the full purchase price going to the hospital.
Results – Saturday, April 13, 2019
Singles Semifinal Round
Christian Garin (Chile) d  Sam Querrey (USA) 7-6(2) 6-2
Casper Ruud (Norway) d [Q] Daniel Elahi Galan (Colombia) 7-5 6-2
Singles Quarterfinal Round
[Q] Daniel Elahi Galan (Colombia) d  Jordan Thompson (Australia) 6-1 4-6 6-4
Doubles Semifinal Round
Santiago Gonzalez (Mexico) & Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Pakistan) d  Bob Bryan (USA) & Mike Bryan (USA) 6-4 6-2