Team USA in Review:
Pat Mitsch | May 3, 2018
Steve Johnson defended his title in Houston, and Madison Keys inched her country a step closer toward defending its title in Fed Cup to earn Team USA Player of the Month distinctions for April 2018.
Johnson, the 28-year-old former USC Trojan, won his second straight singles title at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston, defeating former Tennessee star Tennys Sandgren in the first all-American final between former college players since 1994. Johnson’s achievement – joining Andy Roddick as the only repeat singles champion in Houston since the event moved there in 2001 – was especially poignant, considering his first victory there last year was the final time Johnson’s father, ‘Big Steve,’ would see him play before passing away unexpectedly less than a month later.
Keys, meanwhile, followed her run to the semifinals of the Volvo Car Open WTA Premier event in Charleston, S. ADVERTISEMENT C., by clinching the U.S. Fed Cup team’s victory over France in a semifinal tie in Aix-en-Provence, defeating Pauline Parmentier in the fourth singles match. The Fed Cup team will now look to repeat titles for the first time since 1999-2000 in November against the Czech Republic.
Other WTA and ATP World Tour highlights from April include:
- John Isner and Sam Querrey won their singles matches, and Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison clinched in doubles, to move the U.S. Davis Cup team past Belgium and into its first semifinal since 2012, vs. Croatia.
- Coco Vandeweghe beat world No. 1 Simona Halep and advanced to her first clay-court WTA final at the Premier event in Stuttgart, Germany. Raquel Atawo also won her 18th career doubles title there.
- Bob and Mike Bryan won their 38th ATP Masters 1000 doubles title at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters.
- In addition to Johnson and Sandgren’s all-American final in Houston, Taylor Fritz reached the semifinals, while Sock and Isner were quarterfinalists.
- Sachia Vickery (semifinals) and Danielle Collins (quarterfinals) had strong showings in singles at the WTA International in Monterrey, Mexico.
- Bernarda Pera reached the singles quarters at the Volvo Car Open WTA Premier in Charleston, before falling to Keys.
Challenger- and Pro Circuit-level highlights include:
- Taylor Townsend won her seventh Pro Circuit singles title at the $80,000 clay-court event in Dothan, Ala., assuring her a third main-draw wild card into the French Open as the winner of the Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge.
- Caroline Dolehide won the $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., her fourth Pro Circuit singles title and first above the $25,000 level.
- Chris Eubanks (Georgia Tech) reached his first ATP Challenger final at the $50,000 event in Guadalajara, Mexico, then won his first Challenger singles title at the $75,000 tournament in Leon, Mexico.
- Evan King (University of Michigan) and Hunter Reese (University of Tennessee) won the $100,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger doubles title in Sarasota, Fla.
- Sophie Chang and Alexandra Mueller won the doubles title at the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s event in Charlottesville, Va.
- At the USTA Pro Circuit $75,000 Challenger in Tallahassee, Fla., Noah Rubin won his second Challenger singles title of 2018, while Denis Kudla and Rob Galloway (Wofford) won the doubles title.
- Ellie Halbauer won her second $15,000 clay-court title of 2018 in Antalya, Turkey.
- Players to win $25,000 doubles titles: Whitney Osuigwe (Jackson, Miss.); Sanaz Marand (Jackson, Miss.); Vasil Kirkov (Little Rock, Ark.); Collin Altamirano (Little Rock, Ark.); Chiara Scholl (Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy); Ronnie Schneider (Abuja, Nigeria); Sekou Bangoura (Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy).
- Players to win $15,000 doubles titles: Dusty Boyer (Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt); Christopher Haworth and Isaiah Strode (Orange Park, Fla.); Junior Ore and Miles Seemann (Vero Beach, Fla.).