American Steve Johnson Seeks to Retain Houston Clay Court Championship

Defending champion Steve Johnson outlasted fellow American Taylor Fritz 7-5 6-7 (4/7), 6-2 on Saturday to reach the ATP US Clay Court Championships final. Johnson, who is ranked sixth in the US will play for his third ATP title and second in a row on Houston clay against compatriot and eighth ranked Tennys Sandgren, who made a stunning run to the […]

Defending champion Steve Johnson outlasted fellow American Taylor Fritz 7-5 6-7 (4/7), 6-2 on Saturday to reach the ATP US Clay Court Championships final.

Johnson, who is ranked sixth in the US will play for his third ATP title and second in a row on Houston clay against compatriot and eighth ranked Tennys Sandgren, who made a stunning run to the Australian Open quarter-finals in January.

Eighth-seeded Sandgren, who was initially ranked five spots behind Johnson at 56th, saw a string of good performances lead him to his first ATP final by downing Croatia’s 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/4).

Fritz had beaten Johnson en route to his only ATP final in 2016 at Memphis

With a victory, 88th-ranked Karlovic would have become the oldest ATP finalist since Ken Rosewall won the 1977 Hong Kong title at age 43.

Karlovic settled for being the oldest ATP semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors in 1993 at San Francisco

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