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Houston Sunday Summary

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April 15, 2012



Tennis News Wire -

US Men's Clay Court Championship


Sunday Summary

Singles - Final: (4) J Monaco def. (2) J Isner 6-2 3-6

Between his Miami result and this win, it truly is
turning into a fine spring for Juan Monaco. Even the
second set of this was pretty close; it wouldn't have
taken much for Monaco to win it in two. In any case, he
came out on top. And that means that he keeps on moving.
We show him rising to #13 with the win.

His history is interesting. He won three titles in 2007,
then didn't win another until this year, when he took
Vina del Mar. Now this. He at the rate he is going, he
might be on track for the Top Ten. Although he'll need
to win some non-250s to make it.

John Isner doesn't have to worry about the Top Ten; he
is there, at #9. That makes him the top American. And he
seems to be learning clay. If he can truly master that,
he could stay the top American for quite a while.

Doubles - Final (Saturday): Blake/Querrey def. Huey/Inglot
7-6(16-14) 6-4

James Blake, in his usual somewhat subdued way, sounded
pretty excited by this: "The week was great, as I
haven't been in the winners' circle in a while. It's a
great feeling to get back in it with a good friend like
Sam. I hope it's a stepping stone. I remember when I won
my first doubles title, it was a precursor to my first
singles title the next weekend. I think it shows I'm
starting to play well and getting confidence. I'll take
it anywhere I can get it."

And, indeed, it has been a while -- his last singles
title was New Haven 2007, and his last doubles title was
all the way back at Munich 2004, with Merklein. That
means, oddly enough, that his last three doubles titles
have all been on clay! (The one before Munich was
Houston 2004 with Fish).

This does raise an interesting situation. It's time to
be thinking about Olympic eligibility, of course. The
Americans will potentially be allowed four singles
players plus two doubles specialists. The latter will
surely be the Bryans. The four top American singles
players right now are Isner, Fish, Roddick, and Young,
the first three of whom are ranked high enough that
their spots appear certain. But Fish skipped the last
Olympics. Harrison is next, then Blake, then Querrey. If
Fish doesn't go, then what happens? And can the
Americans scrounge another doubles team? We've no idea,
but the fact that Sam Querrey is still playing good
doubles, and that Blake can win with him, is intriguing
at the very least.


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