ATP roundup: Johnson back in Houston final
4/15/2018 3:51:48 AM EST
Steve Johnson is one victory away from becoming the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship's first back-to-back winner in 16 years.
The 28-year-old American, seeded sixth, defeated 20-year-old American Taylor Fritz 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the semifinals at Houston on Saturday.
Johnson's final-round opponent will be eighth-seeded Tennys Sandgren, a 26-year-old American looking for his first ATP World Tour championship.
The last player to win in Houston in consecutive years was American Andy Roddick in 2001-02. The Sunday final is the first in Houston to feature two U.S. players since Jack Sock topped Sam Querrey for the 2015 championship.
Johnson squandered two match points while serving at 6-5 in the second set, but he recorded the only two service breaks of the third set.
Sandgren managed to overcome the big serve of Karlovic, who hit 10 aces and double-faulted just once. Sandgren jumped ahead 5-1 in the first-set tiebreaker, and he got the only mini-break of the second-set tiebreaker to go in front 5-3.
Karlovic was the 2007 Houston champion.
Grand Prix Hassan II
Both Great Britain's Kyle Edmund and Spain's Pablo Andujar won two matches Saturday to advance to the final in the rain-delayed event at Marrakech, Morocco.
Edmund defeated Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals, then advanced past fourth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4.
Andujar knocked off qualifier Alexey Vatutin of Russia 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 before topping Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-4.
Andujar, 32, was ranked as high as No. 32 in the world in 2015 before injuries waylaid his career. He is currently ranked No. 355 and looking for his fourth ATP World Tour title, his first since 2014.
Edmund, 23, is ranked 26th in the world. He will be competing in his first tour final.
--Field Level Media