Cristian Garin set to defend Houston title

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Cristian Garin set to defend Houston title

Chilean tennis star Cristian Garin, 23, will return to Houston this year and defend his title. The 23-year-old had a dream Houston debut last year after capturing his maiden ATP title at the event. Garin, ranked at No. 36 in the world, needed three sets to beat fellow rising star Casper Ruud in the final.

The Chilean's run to the Houston title also featured wins over Pablo Cuevas, Jeremy Chardy, Henri Laaksonen and Sam Querrey. "Cristian had an outstanding week to claim our title last year,” Houston Tournament Director Bronwyn Greer said, per the tournament's website.

“It was an impressive performance, from saving match points to winning three three-setters during the week. We’re excited to have him back to Houston in April." It remains to be seen if former world No. 32 Garin can make it all the way on the clay courts of Houston for the second consecutive year.

The U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston marks the beginning of the clay season as it will take place April 06-12.