HOUSTON, April 17, 2017
Steve Johnson fought off cramps and tough play from Thomaz Bellucci to win the Fayez Sarofim & Co. Houston Clay Court Championship. The fourth seeded US-American beat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil in Sunday’s final 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.
Johnson sent down nine aces, winning 79 per cent of his first service points to prevail in two hours and 24 minutes.
The win gives Johnson his second ATP World Tour singles crown, with his maiden trophy coming this past June on the grass court of Nottingham. The 27-year-old from California takes away $95,495 as well as 250 ATP ranking points and is now 2-1 in ATP World Tour finals. He lost in his maiden final in Vienna in 2015.
“To win on U.S. soil and win when you’re not feeling great is a testament to my willpower and competitiveness,” Johnson said. “My body has just physically run out of gas after this week… I was very fortunate to get out of that.”
Bellucci was aiming to become the first player to win five three-set matches en route to an ATP World Tour singles title since Martin Verkerk prevailed in Amersfoot in 2004.
“He was playing unbelievably… I’m a little bit sad because I think I could have won, but I’m happy to make another final,” Bellucci told, who was also seeking his fifth ATP World Tour title and first since Geneva in May 2015.
Peralta/Zeballos Claim Doubles Title
Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos celebrated their first Houston title and their fourth ATP World Tour team doubles crown. The Argentine tandem defeated Dustin Brown from Germany and US-American Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 7-5, 10-6 in one hour and 36 minutes.
“It was a really tough match… We feel lucky,” stated Peralta, who now has four ATP World Tour doubles titles.
“This is a beautiful tournament. We’re going to come back here,” Zeballos added, who captured his seventh ATP doubles crown.