US Men’s Clay Court Championships Facts and Trivia
At the end of the early hard court swing in Australia and America, the tour turns its attention clay. Taking place in Houston, Texas. It’s not the first clay court tournament of the year, but it is at the start of a clay court swing that carries on through to the French Open. But we’re not here to talk about Roland Garros, we’re here for some US Men’s Clay Court Championships facts! Let’s get into it.
US Men’s Clay Court Championships Facts
As is nearly always the case with ATP tournaments, the standard name and the actual name differ due to sponsorship. Presently, this tournament is officially titled the Fayez Sarofim & Co. US Men’s Clay Court Championships. For the purposes of this post, however, we’ll leave the sponsor name off.
One of the older tournaments on the tour, the US Men’s Clay Court Championships came into existence in 1910. It took place at the Omaha Field club in front of a crowd of 5,000 (for the final). It emerged off of the back of lobbying by the Western Lawn Tennis Association who felt it would encourage the establishment of more clay courts.
The final ended up being a rather one sided affair in which Melville H. Long dispatched Walter Merrill Hall in straight sets. The final score was 6—0, 6—1, 6—1 to the Californian.
On the Surface
The tournament takes place on American red clay, and is an outdoor venture. The tournament was played on the same red clay used in Roland Garros until 2007. It also had a stint on green clay.
Over the long years, this tournament has been held in a number of locations. In 1914 it moved to Cincinnati. It has also had long stints in River Forest, Illinois, and Indianapolis, but came to rest in Houston in 2001, and has been there since. Though it has continued to move around within the Houston area.
Despite all that shuffling around, the US Men’s Clay Court Championships has remained at the River Oaks Country Club for over a decade now. River Oaks is an prestigious club with a waiting list for membership. The venue sports a number of courts with different surfaces, including a 3,000 capacity stadium.
When it comes to champions of this particular tournament, there aren’t a whole lot of repeat customers. Andy Roddick leads the pack with three titles in Houston. Roddick is followed by Andrés Gómez, Andre Agassi, and Juan Mónaco. That’s a lot of unique champions for a tournament that is over a hundred years old!
So there’s your US Men’s Clay Court Championships facts and trivia for now. We’ll keep this page updated so be sure leave any updates or corrections in the comments below!