HOUSTON -- Christian Garin of Chile won the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship on Sunday for his first ATP World Tour title, beating Casper Ruud of Norway 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 at River Oaks Country Club.
Nearly six years after winning the French Open Juniors title, the 22-year-old Garin finally broke through on the tour, spoiling Ruud's bid to become the first Norwegian winner.
"Casper's a really solid player," Garin said. "His forehand is getting better every day. It was a really intense match. What I did well today was to keep playing my game, every game of the match. I think I am playing my best tennis right now."
Garin got the decisive service break for a 4-2 third-set lead when, ripping a blistering forehand approach shot, he coaxed Ruud into popping up a backhand volley he easily put away. Garin then served out in cool and breezy but sunny conditions.
"I'm disappointed because it was a very close match, and one break in the last set went his way," Ruud said. "I had some chances at 2-all. I tried to stay aggressive and play my game. I made a couple of unforced errors, but I can't be too disappointed because I went for winners, and it was a great match overall."
Garin will crack the top 50 in the world ranking for the first time.