A trio of players with US Clay success were victorious on the opening day of main draw play of the 2023 tournament.
Two-time US Clay winner Steve Johnson picked up another hard-fought victory at River Oaks Country Club Monday, surviving a very tight first set before coming out with the win after a roller coaster final two sets for a 7-6(5) 1-6 6-1. It is the seventh of Johnson’s 13 US Clay wins that came in three sets.
Daniel Elahi Galan, who reached the semifinals at River Oaks in 2019, picked up a quick 6-2 6-3 in 75 minutes on Monday powered behind a career high 12 aces. He will next face No. 6 seed Jason Kubler who notched a 7-6(7) 6-0 win over former champion Fernando Verdsaco.
Houston-born Gijs Brouwer won for the third time in four career US Clay matches as he downed Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-4 6-4. In 2022 as a qualifier, Brouwer reached the quarterfinals here.
Denis Kudla, making his ninth US Clay appearance, finished strong for a three set win against qualifier Aleksandar Vukic 6-4 4-6 6-4.
First round play continues Tuesday.