Baseline: April 17 tennis report

Tennis: In a week when all four top U.S. men fell victim to post-Davis Cup ailments, Steve Johnson found more in his tank than his compatriots to take the U.S. Men’s Claycourt title in Houston.

By Andrea Leand, PSN analyst

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BACKHANDS

ATP TOUR: U.S. Men’s Claycourt Championship

Final: Steve Johnson def. Thomaz Belluci, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5)

  • Johnson overcame severe cramping and tenacious Brazilian Belluci to win his second ATP title and move to No. 25 in the world rankings.
  • All four top Americans – Johnson, Jack Sock, John Isner and Sam Querrey – struggled with fatigue and flu on their return from the U.S. Davis Cup match in Australia the previous week. Johnson emerged on top, upending top seed Sock in the semifinals, with better attitude and positive approach.
  • Berlucci, also coming off Brazil’s Davis Cup match in Ecuador, upset Querrey (quarterfinals) and beat wild-card entry Ernesto Escobedo (semifinals) to improve to No.53.
  • Escobedo scored his biggest win by knocking off Isner in the quarterfinals, and now jumps from No.324 last year to No. 73.
  • Despite falling in the semifinals, Sock leads the tour with 20 wins in 2017 and moves to a career high No.14.

ATP TOUR: Grand Prix Hassan II

Final: Borna Coric def. Philip Kohlschreiber, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-5

  • Coric, returning after knee surgery last fall, saved five match points at 5-6 in the second set and survived an early service break in the third to edge the 33-year-old German in 3 hours, 3 minutes. Coric won 70 percent of Kohlschreiber’s second-serve points and broke twice in the final set to win his first ATP title at age 20 and move to No.49.
  • Top seed Grigor Dimitrov committed more than 50 unforced errors to fall in his opening match to veteran Tommy Robredo, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.

WTA TOUR: Ladies Open Biel Bienne

Final: Marketa Vondrousova def. Anett Kontaveit, 6-4, 7-6 (6)

  • Teen qualifier Vondrousova, playing in her first WTA Tour event, never dropped a set in taking the trophy, topping Krystina Pliskova (quarterfinals) and No.1 seed Barbora Strycova (semifinals). The 17-year-old Czech, who started this season by reaching six ITF finals and winning two, moved from No. 233 in the world to No. 117.
  • Kontaveit, 21, also playing in her first WTA final, held two set points at 6-4 in the second-set tiebreak before losing the next four points and the match. The Estonian still moves to No.73.

WTA TOUR: Clara Open Colsanitas

Final: Francesca Schiavone def. Lara Arrauaberrena, 6-4, 7-5

  • Schiavone, denied a wild card this year from her Italian federation for the Italian Open, proved in better form in years in notching her eighth WTA title. The former French Open champion never dropped a set, outplaying top seed Kiki Bertens (quarterfinals) and No.3 seed Johanna Larson (semifinals) to move to No. 104 in the rankings.

FOREHANDS

ATP TOUR: Monte Carlo Rolex Masters

  • Site: Monte Carlo
  • Top seed: Andy Murray

FED CUP: United States vs. Czech Republic

  • Site: Wesley Chapel, Fla.

FED CUP: Belarus vs. Switzerland

  • Site: Minsk, Belarus
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