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US Men’s Clay Court Championships: Five Players Withdraw From Event

Tommy Paul in action

The ATP action continues in the US after terrific tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. This is in Houston, where the US Men’s Clay Court Championships is set to commence. It promises to be an exciting tournament, with Ben Shelton, Francisco Cerundolo and Tomas Martin Etcheverry among the seeded players. However, five players have decided to withdraw from the event. This article names those who have withdrawn and then lists their five replacements in the draw.

Five Players Withdraw From US Men’s Clay Court Championships

Which Players Have Withdrawn?

Tommy Paul is the first player to withdraw from the tournament in Houston. This is due to a physical problem. Paul sustained an ankle injury at the Miami Open, which forced him to retire from his match against Martin Damm Jr. The American was distressed leaving the court and it is not a surprise that he is not ready to play yet.

Yannick Hanfmann is the second player to withdraw from the US Men’s Clay Court Championships. The German got a great win against Adrian Mannarino in Miami, before losing very heavily to last year’s Paris Masters runner-up Grigor Dimitrov. No official reason has been given for his decision not to play in Houston.

Mackeznie McDonald has also withdrawn from the tournament. The American has not played since a first-round Australian Open loss to Juncheng Shang. He has been sidelined with an injury ever since. It is not currently known when McDonald will return to the court.

Taro Daniel is the fourth player to withdraw from the event in Houston.  His last match was a hammering by Jack Draper at the Miami Open. This year’s runner-up at the ASB Classic has not provided a reason for not playing at the event.

Kei Nishikori is the final player to withdraw from the US Men’s Clay Court Championships. The former US Open runner-up played his first tournament in eight months at the Miami Open, with the former Japanese No. 1 enduring a terrible few years with injury. He did not seem to have any physical issues after his contest in Miami and hopefully this is just a precautionary withdrawal.

Who Replaces Those Five Players In The Draw?

Brandon Nakashima benefits from Paul’s decision to withdraw. 2023 was a very difficult year for the 22-year-old after a breakout 2024. However, he has managed some good Challenger Tour results so far this year and is trying to fight his way back up the rankings. A place in the main-draw in Houston gives him another chance to do that.

Thanasi Kokkinakis replaces Hanfmann at the US Men’s Clay Court Championships. The Australian possesses huge firepower that can be a threat to any player in the world. If he finds his range, he has the potential to entertain the fans in Houston.

JJ Wolf is set to feature at the tournament after McDonald’s withdrawal. The American is another player who hits the ball extremely hard. Although he usually plays his best tennis on hard courts, a good run on the clay in Houston is certainly not impossible.

James Duckworth is the second Australian to enter the draw at the US Men’s Clay Court Championships. The 32-year-old veteran is continuing to fight hard this season. He is currently ranked No. 109 and will hope a good run in Houston can get him back into the Top 100.

Finally, Duje Ajdukovic replaces Nishikori. Clay is the Croatian’s favorite surface, with the vast majority of his finals at Futures and Challenger Tour level coming on the dirt. He will hope to show that ability in Houston.

Main Photo Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports


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