French Open

Tearful Johnson remembers late father

2017-05-29 22:50
Steve Johnson (AFP)

Paris - America's Steve Johnson wept as he paid tribute to his late father, describing his French Open first-round victory as "one the hardest matches I've played".

Steve Johnson senior, a widely-respected coach of more than 30 years in California, passed away suddenly earlier in May. He was just 58.

His son admitted he had suffered a rollercoaster of emotions as he came back on Monday to defeat Japan's Yuichi Sugita in a five-set match held over from Sunday night.

"Just a lot of the emotions. You know, my dad he was such a big part of my tennis life, just an emotional time. Yeah, it's not about tennis right now," said the American 25th seed.

Johnson admitted it had been tough to keep playing in Europe after his father passed away but had been buoyed but by the presence of his mother, sister and fiancee in Paris.

"My mom and sister had this whole trip planned for years now. She graduated college and they were going to come here and kind of follow me to Queen's in London and then go back before she starts work," said Johnson.

"They are here, so it makes it easier and harder all at the same time to see them. Just the pain and you just try to get through it. It's just hard."

Johnson, 27, eventually saw off Sugita 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 having had match points on Sunday when darkness halted the tie after six games of the fourth set.

"It was one of the harder matches I've played," added the world number 26.

"At the end of the third set yesterday, the emotions kind of hit me pretty hard and I was lucky to have the night to figure it out.

"But the last two weeks haven't been about tennis for me. So just trying to do the right things and move on as best as I can."

Johnson's win was a rare bright spot for American men on Monday after national number one and 14th seed Jack Sock was defeated by Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 and Ryan Harrison lost 6-4, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 to in-form Aljaz Bedene of Britain.

On Sunday, Tennys Sandgren went down to Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.

Three other American men are in action later Monday.

Jared Donaldson faces Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, Francis Tiafoe takes on Italian 28th seed Fabio Fognini while Donald Young plays former runner-up David Ferrer of Spain.

French Open results on Monday, the second day of the 2017 tournament at Roland Garros (x denotes seeding):

Men

First round

Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) bt Jared Donaldson (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Nicolas Kicker (ARG) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

Pablo Cuevas (URU x22) bt Maxime Hamou (FRA) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2

Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Francis Tiafoe (USA) 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 1-6, 6-0

Richard Gasquet (FRA x24) bt Arthur De Greef (BEL) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3

Victor Estrella (DOM) bt Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 6-7 (9/11), 2-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-2

David Ferrer (ESP x30) bt Donald Young (USA) 5-7, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 13-11

Feliciano Lopez (ESP) bt Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Konstantin Kravchuk (RUS) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6)

Marin Cilic (CRO x7) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

Milos Raonic (CAN x5) bt Steve Darcis (BEL) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Rogério Dutra Silva (BRA) bt Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2

Jiri Vesely (CZE) bt Jack Sock (USA x14) 7-5, 7-5, 6-3

Aljaz Bedene (GBR) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 6-4, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x17) bt John Millman (AUS) 6-2, 6-2, 0-6, 6-1

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) bt Gilles Simon (FRA x31) 1-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-1

Viktor Troicki (SRB) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-0

Rafael Nadal (ESP x4) bt Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-1, 6-4, 6-1

Simone Bolelli (ITA) bt Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

Borna Coric (CRO) bt Mathias Bourgue (FRA) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-2

Steve Johnson (USA x25) bt Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-7 (3/7), 6-3

Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)

David Goffin (BEL x10) bt Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 6-2, 6-2, 6-2

Stefano Napolitano (ITA) bt Mischa Zverev (GER x32) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2

Diego Schwartzman (ARG) bt Andrey Rublev (RUS) 0-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 9-7

Joao Sousa (POR) bt Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2, 6-2

Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Women

First round

Samantha Stosur (AUS x23) bt Kristna Kucov (SVK) 7-5, 6-1

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) bt Mandy Minella (LUX) 6-3, 6-3

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x11) bt Jaimee Fourlis (AUS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

Franoise Abanda (CAN) bt Tessah Andrianjafitrimo (FRA) 6-3, 6-4

Catherine Bellis (USA) bt Quirine Lemoine (NED) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1

Kiki Bertens (NED x18) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1

Zhang Shuai (CHN x32) bt Donna Vekic (CRO) 7-5, 6-4

Garbine Muguruza (ESP x4) bt Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-2, 6-4

Anett Kontaveit (EST) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM) 7-5, 6-1

Johanna Larsson (SWE) bt Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 6-4, 6-4

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ x27) bt Myrtille Georges (FRA) 6-3, 6-0

Sara Errani (ITA) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 7-6 (9/7), 6-1

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA x13) bt Jennifer Brady (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 9-7

Richel Hogenkamp (NED) bt Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 6-2, 7-5

Elise Mertens (BEL) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS x24) 7-6 (7/4), 1-6, 6-4

Ons Jabeur (TUN) bt Ana Bogdan (ROM) 6-3, 6-4

Ana Konjuh (CRO x29) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)

Magda Linette (POL) bt Alizé Lim (FRA) 6-0, 7-5

Ana Konjuh (CRO x29) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)

Elena Vesnina (RUS x14) bt Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4

Varvara Lepchenko (USA) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x16) bt Patricia Tig (ROM) 6-1, 1-0 - retired

Vernica Cepede (PAR) bt Lucie Safarova (CZE) 6-1, 6-4

Mariana Duque (COL) bt Irina Begu (ROM) 7-6 (7/2), 6-4

Pauline Parmentier (FRA) bt Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 6-3, 6-0

Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) bt Katerina Siniakov (CZE) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x2) bt Zheng Saisai (CHN) 7-5, 6-2

Read more on:    french open  |  steve johnson  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.