Three Former Champions Join US Clay Field

published: Mar, 29, 2023

by: TC Staff

HOUSTON (March 29, 2023) – Three former champions who have combined to win a total of 15 ATP Tour titles will return to River Oaks Country Club after the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship awarded wild cards to Steve Johnson, Jack Sock and Fernando Verdasco for next week’s tournament.

Johnson has four ATP titles – two of them at US Clay in 2017 and 2018. He is the first to repeat as US Clay champion since Andy Roddick in 2001-02. Johnson was a two-time NCAA singles champion at the University of Southern California, ending his collegiate career with 72 straight wins while helping the Trojans to win four team titles.

Sock, the 2015 US Clay champion, won the biggest singles title of his career at 2017 ATP Masters 1000 in Paris. The winner of four ATP Tour singles titles has also won two medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, claiming gold in mixed doubles and bronze in men’s doubles (with Johnson). Sock, whose career high ranking is No. 8 in singles, owns three doubles titles and one mixed title at Grand Slams.

Verdasco has been ranked as high as No. 7 in the world. He has a total of seven ATP Tour singles titles – five of them on clay. The 2014 US Clay champion will make his seventh appearance at River Oaks. Verdasco played 67 straight Grand Slam main draws until the 2020 US Open which included reaching the Australian Open semifinals.

This trio of past champions will be joined by two other former US Clay winners: John Isner (2013) and Cristian Garin (2019). The top seeds in the 2023 field will be Frances Tiafoe, a 2022 US Open semifinalist with a win over Rafael Nadal, and Tommy Paul, a 2023 Australian Open semifinalist.

The tournament has also awarded qualifying wild cards to Brandon Holt and Matija Pecotic.

TC Staff

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