HOUSTON, March 15, 2022 (Press Release)
Two-time champion Steve Johnson and the tournament’s winningest active player Sam Querrey headline the initial entry list for qualifying at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club. A two-round qualifier featuring 16 players will be held opening weekend, April 2-3, with four players advancing to the tournament’s main draw, which begins Monday, April 4, and runs until the championship on Sunday, April 10. Johnson won consecutive titles at River Oaks, in 2017 and 2018, to be the first repeat champion at US Clay since Andy Roddick in 2001-02. The winner of two NCAA singles titles while playing at the University of Southern California, he owns an 11-5 record in Houston. Johnson has won four ATP Tour titles during his career. Querrey has a 17-10 record in his career at US Clay to lead all active players for match wins at the event. Along the way, he has reached a pair of finals (2010 and 2015) while also claiming the doubles title in 2012. He has reached the Wimbledon semifinals while also twice being a quarterfinalist there. He owns 10 career ATP titles. Two other qualifying entrants have previously reached the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship semifinals: Daniel Elahi Galan as a qualifying wild card in 2019 and Pablo Cuevas in 2011. Below are the players on the initial entry list for qualifying: (ATP Rank) Name, Age, Country • Mini Bio (101) Denis Kudla, 29, USA • Seven-time Challenger winner; US Open junior finalist; 2-4 at US Clay (103) Daniel Elahi Galan, 25, Colombia • Winner of three Challenger titles; 3-1 at US Clay (104) Pablo Cuevas, 36, Uruguay • Has won six ATP titles, all on clay; 3-3 at US Clay (106) Taro Daniel, 29, Japan • Owns one ATP and seven Challenger titles; 0-1 at US Clay (114) Sam Querrey, 34, USA • 10-time ATP winner; Wimbledon semifinalist; 17-10 at US Clay (115) Steve Johnson, 32, USA • Four-time ATP winner; Two-time NCAA champion; 11-5 at US Clay (117) Juan Pablo Varillas, 26, Peru • Four-time Challenger Tour winner (125) Aleksander Vukic, 25, Australia • Won first Challenger in February; All-American at Illinois (144) Bjorn Fratangelo, 28, USA • Won four Challengers; Won French Open juniors, 1-3 at US Clay (145) Tomas Barrios Vera, 24, Chile • Reached semifinals or better at six 2021 Challengers (209*) JJ Wolf, 23, USA • Five-time Challenger winner; All-American at Ohio State *Using injury protected ranking Three additional players will be added to the qualifying field with special exempts or, if unused, from the alternate list. Two others will be awarded wild cards. The qualifying matches will be the first ATP action at River Oaks since 2019. The last tournament before a two-year pause for COVID was won by Chile’s Cristian Garin over Norway’s Casper Ruud, who is currently ranked No. 8 in the ATP Rankings. Those two, along with Americans John Isner, Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka and Frances Tiafoe, are among the players who have entered the 28-player main draw. A limited number of tickets for the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship remain available. To purchase or for more information, click here.