Frances Tiafoe took his second career's ATP title after winning the Sunday's final of ATP 250 tournament in Houston. It was a really crazy week for the players and fans in US. The play was tormented by rain for three days in a row. Tournament's hosts needed to wait until the weather conditions get any better, which forced to play almost all of the matches during the weekend. Tiafoe grabbed his final victory after playing 4 matches in time of just 2 days. The home crowd's favorite did it really well though, as he stormed through the tournament's draw without losing any single set on the road.
Despite the joy of crowd caused by te victory of US player, other Americans were playing with with varying fortunes in the time condensed Houston's event. Only two out of 8 home players competing in main draw have reached out the quarterfinals. Tiafoe was the only one to get through the semifinals. The tournament's top seed faced Tomas Martin Etcheverry in Sunday's final clash. Because of being one of four top seeds, Tiafoe needed one less match to play on the road to final, defeating Steve Johnson, Jason Kubler and Gijs Brouwer - all in straight sets. The Argentinian had some more bumpy road to play for the title. He needed to overcome Juan Manuel Cerundolo, Max Purcell, Cristian Garin and Yannick Hanfmann. Etcheverry, who is a pure clay specialist, prevailed really well there, losing just one set to the Chilean in quarterfinal.
Tiafoe was a pre-match favorite with an odd 1.45. He could not underestimate his opponent though, as Etcheverry is a really dangerous clay-court player. He was already a finalist of the tournament on ATP level in Santiago, in February this year. Despite that, the Argentinian celebrated all of his successes in Challenger Tour competitions exactly on this surface. Etcheverry made really difficult play conditions for Tiafoe, as the American clinched first set just after tie-break with a dominant performance and score 7-1. 12 games of opening set brought no breakpoints at all. Tiafoe managed to broke the deadlock in second set, gaining first break of the match, but did not prevail to serve for victory in 10th game. Another tiebreak was needed, but it was much more intense battle than in first set. The American was trailing 3-5, but managed to come back from this score, winning 5 out of 6 following points and converting his second matchpoint to close the match with a score 7-6(1) 7-6(6). The details were deciding there, as it was a fight between two players serving really well this day. Tiafoe scored 12 aces to just 1 unforced error. Only three breakpoints were produced throughout whole the match, all of them in second set.
Both finalists capitalized on their deep run in Houston. Tiafoe gained 4 places in ATP Rankings to reach out his career's best 11th place. Etcheverry moved up by 14 places to also earn his career's peak ranking - 59th place.