Davis Cup Heroes Isner, Querrey, Sock, and Harrison Feature at ATP Houston 2018
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The 2018 US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston, a 250 stop on the ATP tour, feature all the members of the USA Davis Cup Team and a host of others battling it out on North America’s only ATP clay court event.
Top Half:Embed from Getty Images
Wins at the Davis Cup and in Miami set John Isner up to beat Dustin Brown/Henri Laaksonen, then Frances Tiafoe or Steve Johnson to reach the semis. Johnson faces fellow American Ernesto Escobedo, while Tiafoe takes on fellow American Mackenzie McDonald. Tiafoe should beat Johnson in round 2.
Jack Sock has had a rough season and I’ll back Yoshihito Nishioka, a qualifier, to test him in round 2 after upsetting Horacio Zeballos. I’ll go with Sock to advance to the quarters opposite Taylor Fritz or Ryan Harrison. Fritz opens with Tim Smyczek, while Harrison takes on qualifier Miomir Kecmanovic. Everyone in this section needs form, but I’ll hack Sock over Harrison to advance.Embed from Getty Images
Sam Querrey will face Guido Pella or Stefan Kozlov. Pella is struggling badly and thus Querrey is a heavy favorite to reach the quarters. Tennys Sandgren takes on Blaz Kavcic, then Nicolas Kicker or Donald Young for a spot in the quarters. Both Young and Sandgren are in awful form, and I’ll go with Kicker to advance from the section with wins over Young and Sandgren before falling to Querrey.
Nick Kyrgios vs. Fernando Verdasco is looking like a fantastic quarterfinal matchup. Verdasco opens with Denis Kudla, then Taro Daniel or Ivo Karlovic. Kyrgios should be tested by Bjorn Fratangelo or countryman Jordan Thompson before the quarterfinals. I’ll go with Verdasco on clay to advance past Kyrgios and into the semis, but either player could win the whole tournament.
Isner d. Sock
Verdasco d. Querrey
As poor as he was prior to Miami, it’s hard to pick against Isner right now as he’s the strongest player in the Houston field. Verdasco also has a real shot here.
Isner d. Verdasco