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Where Are They Now?
Catching Up with Steve Johnson
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A year ago, Steve Johnson was wrapping up his senior year at Southern California as arguably the most decorated player in NCAA history with his second second straight NCAA singles title and fourth straight NCAA team title. Fast forward a year, and Johnson has made a strong start to his professional career, working his ATP singles ranking up to No. 128 in the world.

NCAA Champion Steve Johnson
courtesy, USC Athletics
Harry Cicma recently chatted with Johnson about his future - as well as his college tennis memories.
 

Questions and Answers

Harry Cicma (HC): How is life after college going on the ATP Tour?

Steve Johnson (SJ): It's been fun, I've definitely enjoyed my time on the ATP Tour - traveling to many different places and seeing new cities. It has been great, I've had a blast, and I am enjoying every minute.

 

HC: How is the competition on the ATP Tour?

SJ: It is definitely tough - these guys are working hard every day to make a living. The talent is very high, and I've definitely had to raise my game to compete at the highest level. But I've been working hard to get better every day, and I have enjoyed it.

 

HC: Have you had any mentors - such as Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras or John McEnroe - try to help you as a fellow American?

SJ: It hasn't been any one of those guys per say, but they have helped at times. I will definitely take any advice that they give me and will absorb it.

 

HC: What were some of your best memories playing for USC, and what advice would you give a young player looking to make it in college tennis?

Four-time Champions: Johnson and Nguyen of USC
© ZooTennis.com
SJ: Just winning the four team championships and the two singles titles, just being part of a very special team, with a very special coach. I hope they can keep going and continue their amazing success.

I would tell a young junior to do what you love to do, work hard, and always remember to have fun doing what you enjoy to do.

 

HC: What are your goals on the ATP Tour?

SJ: I'd love to get in the top 100 as soon as possible. I'd also be grateful to represent America in the Davis Cup one day - in another team environment. I just want to keep working hard and playing in as many tournaments as possible - and continue to improve.

 

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More College Coverage

22-Aug-2014
Musings on Proposed ITA/NCAA Division I Format Changes
The ITA recently announced a number of changes to NCAA Division I competition starting this fall. The most notable changes are a move to "no-ad" rather than traditional scoring and shortening doubles from an eight-game pro set to one standard six-game set. These changes have been met with strong feelings on both sides, and there are many coaches and players on both sides of this debate. This article offers our thoughts - in the context of many other articles on the issue.

21-Aug-2014
ITA Announces New Division I Dual Match Format
The ITA will be inaugurating a new, shorter dual meet format for Division I college tennis beginning at the start of the 2014-15 season. Highlighting the format changes are switches to no-ad scoring from regular scoring, one set of doubles rather than an 8-game pro set and no warm-up with opponents.

24-Jun-2014
American Collegiate Invitational to Debut at US Open
When sixteen American collegians take the courts late in the second week of this year's American Collegiate Invitational at the US Open, they will enjoy the same perks and surroundings as professionals Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal. The college players will not share in the millions of dollars of prize money, but they can collect something the pros cannot - a guarantee of entry for the following year.

 
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About Harry Cicma

When it comes to college tennis, Harry Cicma is your man. Cicma covers tennis and other athletic stories for NBC Sports, writing articles and producing video segments.

He is co-founder and host of World Tennis a weekly tennis show on NESN, and host of of Tennis Live Radio's College Corner.

Cicma competed as a junior in USTA/New England and went on to play college tennis at Rutgers University. As a professional, Cicma competed at the ATP Newport tournament and the San Jose Siebel Open. He reached a career-high #75 in the ATP doubles team rankings and #1262 in the ATP Entry System.

In media, Cicma has run the gamut. He has worked for NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, FOX Sports Net, the Tennis Channel, and World Team Tennis. Cicma has announced NCAA sports as well as the US Open Tennis Championships on both TV and radio.

 
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