2014 Week-15: ATP in Houston and Casablanca

U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club

  • Singles: Fernando Verdasco def. Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 7-6(4)
  • Doubles: Bryan Brothers def. Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero 4-6, 6-4, 11-9

Fernando Verdasco claimed the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Sunday, winning his first singles title since 2010, and the sixth of his career. Nicolas Almagro lost his second consecutive final in Houston (to Isner last year). With the win, Verdasco climbed three positions to #26 in the world. After the traditional leap in the pool, he boarded a flight for Monte Carlo, where he’ll open the Masters-1000 event against Marin Cilic.

2014 hasn’t been kind to Sam Querrey, but he played well in Houston before pinching a nerve in his back. Sam had to withdraw from his semifinal match with Nicolas Almagro; but with the SF finish, he jumped 11-spots to #71 in the world (he started the season ranked 46th).

Germany’s Dustin Brown impressed as well, with a 2nd-Round win over defending champion John Isner, before falling to Querrey in the Quarterfinals. Brown climbed 14-spots to #87 in the world – a career-high for @DreddyTennis.

Bob and Mike Bryan came from behind to win their 5th Houston title; the 97th win of their career (It’s actually Mike’s 99th title. In 2002, he won Long Island with Mahesh Bhupathi and Nottingham with Mark Knowles). Since losing the Memphis Final back in February, the twins have gone 18-0 with four consecutive titles: Delray Beach, Indian Wells, Miami and now Houston.

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Grand Prix Hasssan II in Casablanca, Morocco

[lightbox link=”http://www.andytayloronline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Guillermo-Garcia-Lopez-wins-Casablanca.png” thumb=”http://www.andytayloronline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Guillermo-Garcia-Lopez-wins-Casablanca-150×150.png” width=”150″ align=”right” title=”Garcia-Lopez wins his first title since 2010. (ABDELJALIL BOUNHAR — AP Photo)” frame=”true” icon=”image”]

  • Singles: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez def. Marcel Granollers 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
  • Doubles: Horia Tecau/Jean-Julien Rojer def. Tomasz Bednarek/Lukas Dlouhy 6-2, 6-2

It must be clay season, it was another all-Spanish Final in Casablanca. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez won his first title since 2010 with a come-from-behind win over Marcel Granollers. He had a difficult road to the final…winning two tie-break sets in the first round over Mikhail Kukushkin, defeating Benoit Paire in a second-set tie-break in the Quarterfinals and going three with Roberto Carballes Baena in the Semifinals. The win launched him 15 ranking spots to #38 in the world.

When Horia Tecau heads to the one ATP Tour top in Africa, he wins. He and Robert Lindstedt won the Casablanca title together in 2010 and 2011. This year he teamed with Jean-Julien Rojer to win it for a third time. Tecau and Rojer now own two titles together this year after winning Zagreb. They also reached the Final in Rotterdam.

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Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, where last year Novak Djokovic ended Rafael Nadal’s streak of eight consecutive titles