The only ATP clay-court event in the United States heads into Day 4 as the remaining four Round of 16 singles matches are played in Houston. Not only is the day four slate filled with Americans, but some of the country’s best will be in action as Taylor Fritz, John Isner, and Frances Tiafoe take the court. We at LWOT will provide predictions on their matches as well as all other matches in Houston. Let’s get into it.
ATP Houston Day 4 Predictions
Frances Tiafoe vs Pablo Cuevas
Head-to-Head: Cuevas leads 1-0
Veteran clay-court specialist Pablo Cuevas has had an injury riddled start to the 2022 season, but is looking to come into form now that the tour has switched over to his favorite surface. Frances Tiafoe also missed 6 weeks early on this season but currently holds his career best live ranking of World #28. Both players won their Round 1 matches in straight sets and are looking for their first tour-level quarterfinal of the year. Cuevas won their only previous meeting 6-0 6-7 6-2 in 2019 on the clay. I like the American to win this one in a three-set battle. Cuevas is tough on the dirt, but the young legs of Tiafoe should be able to outlast the 36-year-old.
Prediction: Tiafoe in 3
Cristian Garin vs Jordan Thompson
Head-to-Head: First meeting
No one is happier than Cristian Garin to see the calendar flip to the clay court season. The Chilean holds a 63.8% career winning percentage on clay compared to that of 35.6% on hard court. His opponent, Australian Jordan Thompson, has historically struggled on clay. Though Garin had to come back from two breaks down in the third set to oust Jack Sock in Round 1, I think he should have no trouble with Thompson. April and May is where Garin gains most of his points to finish the season as a top-25 player.
Prediction: Garin in 2
Taylor Fritz vs Alejandro Tabilo
Head-to-Head: First meeting
After winning last month’s Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, Taylor Fritz currently holds a career high ranking of #13 in the World. Though the big serving American prefers the hard court, he still holds a career 21-22 tour-level record on the clay. The issue for him may be a nagging foot injury that seemed to flair up last week in Miami. Nonetheless, Fritz takes the court as the #2 seeded player in the draw and will take on clay-court specialist Alejandro Tabilo in Round 2 of this tournament. Since the Australian Open, Tabilo has only played in clay-court tournaments. There is a reason for this as the Chilean is 15-4 in all matches since Melbourne. Though he sits 82 spots below the American on the live rankings, I very much believe Tabilo can win this match. I believe in it so much that I will pick the 24-year-old Chilean to pick up the biggest win of his career here in Houston.
Prediction: Tabilo in 3
John Isner vs Steve Johnson
Head-to-Head: Johnson leads 6-4
The best of friends and two of the greatest collegiate tennis players of the century, John Isner and Steve Johnson will meet for the 11th time on tour down in Houston. Though Johnson leads the head-to-head 6-4, Isner has taken two of three they have played on clay. Johnson had a nice three-set win over Denis Kudla in Round 1 as the 4th seeded Isner received a bye. This match should be a fun one for both the players and the fans. We should see a lot of winners as well as a lot of unforced errors. Both men are on the back end of their careers but are still playing some high quality tennis. I give the slight edge to the bigger serving Isner.
Prediction: Isner in 3
Main Photo from Getty.