Just a few weeks after the passing of his father, American Steve Johnson is back on the tour trying to continue to play tennis, but it hasn’t been easy to do it with such a heavy heart.
The 27-year-old held off a late surge by Yuichi Sugita to win in five sets in the first set. Today, he again was up two sets this time on Borna Coric. But the Croat came back, led with a break in the fourth before Johnson took it in a tiebreaker to win.
Right after, Johnson broke down in tears in a very emotional moment.
Steve Johnson (🎥Eurosport) pic.twitter.com/mc9FldatSz
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) May 31, 2017
Johnson spoke about the death of his father, Steve Johnson Sr., who he called his best friend, after his first round win.
“I have no thoughts. I don’t know. I don’t really know how to put it into words,” Johnson said. “Just an emotional time. Yeah, it’s not about tennis right now.
“My mom and sister had this whole trip planned for years now. She graduated college and, you know, they were going to come here and kind of follow me to Queens and then go back before she starts work and whatnot. So, you know, my mom and sister and, you know, my fiancée are here, so it makes it easier and harder all at the same time to see them. Just the pain and you, you know, just trying to get through it. You know, it’s just hard.”
Into his second third round at the French Open, Johnson will now face Dominic Thiem on Friday.
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