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Verdasco Wins U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship

April 13, 2014 08:09 PM
With his win Sunday over countryman Nicolas Almagro, Fernando Verdasco snapped a six-match losing streak in ATP finals.

By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com

In front of a packed house in Houston, No. 4 seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain captured his first ATP title in four years at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, prevailing in the final against No. 3 seed and fellow countryman Nicolas Almagro, 6-3, 7-6(4).

Verdasco also snapped a six-match losing streak in finals and claimed his third tournament win on U.S. soil with the victory in Sunday’s final.

"It’s been a long time since I’ve won a singles title," said Verdasco. "It’s a very important day for me to win a tournament after a few years, and after the injury in my knee the last couple years, not feeling so well and not being able to play a few matches in a row feeling well. I’m so happy for everything in general."

Verdasco fought off five set points on his serve at 4-5 in the second set and overcame a mini-break in the tiebreak before converting on his first championship point. Having had a difficult start to 2014 with a 4-5 record going into this week, the world No. 29 Verdasco said he was elated to be in the winner’s circle again.

“In general, I think I had ups and downs, but it’s normal,” he said. "I think the key was my mentality during the week. I kept going every point no matter how tired or how good I was feeling.”

The world No. 20 Almagro is still seeking his first title in Houston after losing in last year’s championship match to John Isner. Despite the loss, Almagro's record on clay in 2014 stands at a respectable 10-5.

Verdasco earned $85,900 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points with his triumph, while Almagro took home $45,245 and 150 points. Both players will compete this coming week in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.




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