Next Generation player Hyeon Chung edged American Tommy Paul 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the quarter-finals of the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Wednesday night. The Korean landed 72 per cent of first serves and did not face a break points in the last two sets.
“I tried to fight on every point,” Chung, who needed just under two hours to secure the win, said. “He played really well but I’m happy to come back in three sets.”
Chung is into his second ATP World Tour quarter-final (2015 Shenzhen) and will face top seed John Isner, who did not face a break point in dismissing fellow American Denis Kudla 7-6(2), 7-6(4).
“I’ve never played Isner before, but I’m not worrying about that yet,” Chung, No. 71 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, said. “First I’ll have to recover from this match.”
Juan Monaco, the 2012 champion, made a statement in Houston with a 6-3, 7-5 second-round win over second seed Benoit Paire. The former Top-10 player, who defeated Gerald Melzer in the first round, last posted consecutive tour-level wins in Nice 13 months ago (l. to Mayer in QF).
The 32 year old from Tandil has more clay-court wins than any other participant in this year’s tournament (229-136). The Argentine saved 10 break points (10/12) in the 93-minute encounter and improved to 3-1 in the FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry against Paire.
In beating Paire, No. 22 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Monaco scored his first Top-25 win since Miami 2015 (d. Garcia-Lopez). His opponent in the quarter-finals will be Sam Querrey, who downed Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-3.
The big-hitting Querrey needed only 50 minutes to defeat Becker. He hit 13 aces and saved both break points faced to improve to 3-0 against the German. A two-time finalist (2010 and 2015) in Houston, Querrey is now 13-6 at the event. The fifth seed has never beaten Monaco on clay (0-3) and trails 1-4 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry.