US Men's Clay Court Championship is among the oldest running tournaments in the world, starting in Omaha way back in 1910 and representing the only clay court event on the ATP Tour in North America. The event had changed location numerous times in the following decades before it settled in Indianapolis between 1969-1987.
It then moved to Houston in 2001 and stayed there ever since at the beautiful River Oaks Country Club (new complex was completed in March 2009), with some high-quality players fighting for the title. The tournament became a part of the official ATP Tour in 1970 and it stayed in the calendar in every year, with Manuel Orantes, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Jim Courrier, Andy Roddick, John Isner and Tommy Haas among the winners.
The Americans have won five of the last eight editions and the organizers have already signed some of the most prominent home players as the first confirmed competitors for 2019 edition that will take place between April 8-14.
2010 and 2015 finalist Sam Querrey is the first signed player in the singles draw, playing in Houston 10 times before since the debut in 2007 and claiming 14 wins. After the opening round loss in 2007 and 2008, Sam went all the way to reach the final in 2010, suffering a three-set loss to Juan Ignacio Chela.
Five years later, Jack Sock halted him in the title match in two tie breaks and he won just three matches in the last three editions. The legendary Bryan brothers will make their 17th appearance at this event (in Orlando and Houston), seeking their seventh title 20 years after playing in the final on their debut in 1999! Mike and Bob have won 40 matches overall at the US Men's Clay Court Championship, advancing into six consecutive finals and claiming the last crown in 2016 when they defeated Estrella Burgos and Dominguez.
The organizers will try to bring more big names in the following months but we should expect Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Reilly Opelka and other American youngsters to sign and play in Houston in 2019, in what would be the last tournament for them on home soli before July.