Sock, Tiafoe & Harrison Join 2018 US Clay Field

published: Jan, 04, 2018

by: Nima Naderi

HOUSTON – Jack Sock, the top-ranked U.S. player on the ATP World Tour, headlines a group of three Americans announced today as committed to play at River Oaks Country Club April 7-15 for this year’s Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship.

Sock, the 2015 US Clay champion, will be joined by countrymen Frances Tiafoe and Ryan Harrison, who both return to River Oaks after success on clay in doubles during 2017.

In 2017, Sock closed his season with a flourish, winning his biggest career title at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Paris, which qualified him for the ATP World Tour Finals in London, where he reached the semifinals.

Sock starts 2018 at a career high of No. 8 on Emirates ATP Rankings after reaching the quarterfinals or better at 11 tournaments in 2017, including the semifinals at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, while winning a career-best three titles.

This will be Sock’s sixth time playing US Clay. In 2015, the Nebraska-native won his first career title at River Oaks, and then reached the final in the following season.

Tiafoe reached his first-ever ATP final of any kind at River Oaks last April when he finished as doubles runner-up with Dustin Brown. This will be Tiafoe’s third appearance in singles at US Clay. In 2017, he pushed eventual runner-up Thomaz Bellucci to three sets in the opening round.

The 19-year-old Tiafoe is one of just three teenagers in the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Singles Rankings. He claimed two Challenger singles titles during 2017. He counts a win over No. 7 Alexander Zverev at Cincinnati and pushing Roger Federer to five sets at the US Open among his 2017 season highlights.

Harrison’s 2017 included a number of career firsts, highlighted by a first Grand Slam win when he claimed the doubles title at the French Open. It was one of two clay court doubles titles he won with partner Michael Venus in 2017, as the duo was also victorious in Estoril.

It was also a successful singles season for Harrison, who won his first career ATP title at Memphis, doing so without dropping a set. Later in the season, he reached the final in Atlanta, where he fell to John Isner in two tie-breaks. Those successes vaulted him to a career high ranking last summer.

Harrison earned his first-ever ATP match win at River Oaks as a 15-year-old in 2008. A quarterfinalist in 2012, he will be making his sixth US Clay appearance. He missed the 2017 tournament following his late-March wedding.

With Harrison and Sock joining the field, all five American players in the Top 50 of the final 2017 ATP Rankings will play at River Oaks in 2018. The commitments of Sam Querrey (No. 13), John Isner (No. 17) and defending champion Steve Johnson (No. 43) had previously been announced.

Also previously announced as committed for the 2018 tournament at River Oaks in singles was US Open finalist Kevin Anderson, and, in doubles, six-time US Clay champions the Bryan twins, Bob and Mike.

The full singles field for the 2018 tournament will be announced at the end of Feburary.

Tickets for the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship are on sale now. To purchase tickets or for more information visit www.mensclaycourt.com.

Nima Naderi

http://www.tennisconnected.com

Founder and Creative Director of TennisConnected.com. He has over 25 years of coaching experience and is an award winning coach with the PTR. Nima has written articles for the ATPWorldTour.com, TennisCanada.com, TennisViewMagazine and Tennis Pro Magazine. He is also the co-host of the TennisConnected PodCast, the Operations Director for Premium Court and the Tournament Director for the Caribbean Cup Tennis Series.

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