Steve Johnson fought through late cramps to win the US Men’s Clay Court Tennis Championship by beating Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) on Sunday at River Oaks Country Club.
The 27-year-old Johnson won his second ATP Tour title and became the seventh American to win the event since it moved to Houston in 2001.
He also won a grass-court title last summer in Nottingham, England.
Johnson was hobbled by cramps while serving at the end of the third set, but by coaxing a backhand return error from Bellucci on a serve he barely hit, he was able to get off the court to receive a brisk right-thigh massage from an ATP trainer.
Players aren’t allowed timeouts for cramps.
Johnson appeared fine in the tiebreaker, which was the first to decide the championship in tournament history. – ESPN