Steve Johnson had a good win against Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis in three sets (7-6(5), 1-6, 6-1) in the first round of the ATP 250 series in Houston.
Opening hours at Facundo Bagnis in this Houston ATP, whose main goal is to start the clay court tour in a good way, a surface on which the Argentinian tennis player will logically feel more comfortable. The Armstrong native hasn’t had the best of starts this year, only picking up wins at the Qualy in Rio de Janeiro and the Challenger in Santiago. His opponent today was Steve Johnson, a seasoned player on the circuit who is by no means the player who was near the Top 20 in 2016. The American recently had six straight losses between the previous stages of the ATP and Challengers. This Houston is a special tournament for Johnson, where he became the champion twice.
The first clash between both players.
Johnson takes the win
The last game of the day in Houston and the night felt cold. Nevertheless, a lot of level in the early game, which left the typical points on the surface early, with many rallies. Johnson took risks, especially with his right hand, oscillating between good winners and unforced errors. Bagnis focused a little more on holding his serve and resisting his opponent’s attacks, always playing one more ball. Although both had break chances, none materialized and the first set was decided in a tiebreak. The American was ahead and took the semi-final tightly 7-5, but always under his control.
A completely different tone for the second set as Johnson missed first serves and problems arose. Bagnis stayed steady from the baseline, hitting the first break of the match to go 2-0. The Argentine took solace in the development, against a rival that, it is true, made things easier for him by making many unforced errors. After another break Facundo sealed this second set 6-1.
Logically, Bagnis arrived better seeded in the last series, but the trend turned very quickly. Johnson, supported by a small crowd, found winners in the right to sign an early break and moved to dominate the scoreboard at a critical moment. Even more so when there was another stoppage in a row, when the Argentine was out of the game. In the end, Johnson took the win in the second decider 6-1 to advance to the second round.