Great Britian’s James Ward and Jay Clarke failed to move past their opening hurdles in the 2019 U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships qualifiers that were were played on Saturday in Houston.
Santiago Giraldo defeated Ward 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the second round while Christopher Eubanks of USA overcame Clarke similarly, 6-3, 6-4 to enhance his chances of qualifying for the main draw.
A former top-100 player in the tennis world, Ward’s not had a great 2019 season so far, with his defeat here being the seventh in a row. He has failed to make it to the main draw of any ATP tournament and won just two matches all year – one at the qualifying in Melbourne and another at the Rennes Challenger.
20-year-old Clarke also hasn’t made it to any main draw this season but there has been a Burnie Challenger semi-final and another appearance at the quarter-final in Lauceston in February. At the Miami Masters, he did win his opening qualifier but went down to India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the second round.
Ward and Clarke aside, Cameron Norrie is the only other British player who will take to court at the Houston Open this week. Seeded third, he has a bye to the second round and will face the winner of the match between Janko Tipsarevic and Tennys Sandgren.
In other action, another British player, Kyle Edmund will kick-start his 2019 Grand Prix Hassan II Open campaign with an opening round match against Frenchman Ugo Humbert.