(March 29, 2017) HOUSTON – The full field for the 2017 Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship continues to take shape with the announcement of two wild card recipients as well as the initial entry list for doubles.
Bjorn Fratangelo, a 23-year-old American, has been awarded a wild card into the singles field for the April 8-16 tournament at River Oaks Country Club. He joins the singles field which had previously been announced on March 1.
In doubles, six-time champions Bob & Mike Bryan headline the initial entry list of 10 doubles duos that includes five teams from the Top 25 of the 2017 Emirates ATP Doubles Race. In addition, the first doubles wild card has been awarded to a first-time pairing of Dustin Brown & Frances Tiafoe.
“With just over a week to go until the tournament the excitement is certainly building around River Oaks,” said tournament director Bronwyn Greer. “Our doubles entries are led by the most successful team the sport has seen, but they will be pushed by this strong field. Bjorn is a great addition to our singles field following his success on clay last season.”
Named after Bjorn Borg, the Pittsburgh-born Fratangelo broke into the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings last summer after winning the USTA French Open Wild Card Challenge, a run which included the title at the Savannah Challenger. In 2011, Fratangelo became just the second American to win the French Open juniors title, after John McEnroe in 1977.
Joining the six-time champion Bryans in the doubles field will be two-time US Clay winner Leander Paes. A champion in 2000 and 2001, Paes will be playing this year with Andre Sa. Paes owns 54 career titles, including eight Majors.
The entries include two teams who have already won titles in 2017 – Juan Sebastian Cabal & Robert Farah, winners in Buenos Aires, and Brian Baker & Nikola Mektic, winners in Memphis.
Two other individuals in the field won titles with other partners this year – Sao Paulo winner Sa and Chennai champion Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, who is entered with American Donald Young at River Oaks.
The Bryan Brothers, who are defending champions, have won 112 titles during their career, including 16 Majors. They recently eclipsed the 1,000-win milestone as a team, which includes their 36-8 record at the U.S. Clay Court Championship. This will be their 15th appearance in the event.
Here are the initial 11 teams in the 2017 doubles field (2017 Doubles Race precedes teams):
(4) Bob Bryan (USA) & Mike Bryan (USA)
(8) Juan Sebastian Cabal (Colombia) & Robert Farah (Colombia)
(14) Nicholas Monroe (USA) & Artem Sitak (New Zealand)
(17) Brian Baker (USA) & Nikola Mektic (Croatia)
(21) Julio Peralta (Chile) & Horacio Zeballos (Argentina)
(30) Purav Raja (India) & Divijj Sharan (India)
Santiago Gonzalez (Mexico) & Michael Venus (New Zealand)
Robert Lindstedt (Sweden) & Scott Lipsky (USA)
Leander Paes (India) & Andre Sa (Brazil)
Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (India) & Donald Young (USA)
WC – Dustin Brown (Germany) & Frances Tiafoe (USA)
The team of Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez (no relation) had previously committed to play at River Oaks, however the duo has been forced to withdraw citing Marc’s commitment to play for Spain’s Davis Cup team.
Four more doubles teams will enter through an on-site sign in that concludes April 8, and the tournament will award one more team a wild card entry.