ATP Tour

Johnson outlasts Sandgren to repeat as US Clay champion

2018-04-16 07:02
Steve Johnson (Getty Images)

Los Angeles - Steve Johnson captured his second consecutive ATP US Clay-Court Championship title on Sunday by outlasting fellow American Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (7/2), 2-6, 6-4. 

Sixth seed Johnson won his third career ATP title, taking two in a row on Houston clay after his first victory came in 2016 at Nottingham. 

Johnson, who is getting married next weekend, was the first back-to-back US Clay-Court winner since Andy Roddick in 2001-02. 

American eighth seed Sandgren, who made a stunning run to the Australian Open quarter-finals in January, was playing in his first tour final. 

Johnson, ranked five spots ahead of Sandgren at 51, had never before faced the shock Aussie Open upstart, who ousted Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem, two top-10 foes, at Melbourne in January. 

It was an emotional victory for Johnson, whose father Steve Sr. died 11 months ago and last saw him play in last year's Houston final. 

After the final point, Johnson made a cross sign and fist-pumped to the heavens, then buried his head on Sandgren's shoulder, overcame by memories and the moment. 

"I'm glad to have won again here in Houston," Johnson said. "It means a lot." 

After Johnson dominated the first-set tie-breaker, Sandgren broke for a 4-2 edge in the second set and broke again in the eighth game to force a third set. 

Johnson, 28, took the only break of the final set from Sandgren, 26, in the ninth game and denied the only break point he faced in the set in the close-out game.

Results from ATP Tour US Men's Clay-Court Championships in Houston, Texas on Sunday (x denotes seed):

Final

Steve Johnson (USA x6) bt Tennys Sandgren (USA x8) 7-6 (7/2), 2-6, 6-4

Read more on:    atp tour  |  tennys sandgren  |  steve johnson  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.