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Where Are They Now?
Catching Up with Steve Johnson

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

Countdown: Q&A with WFU Coach Tony Bresky
Tony Bresky wasn't anticipating a career in tennis, but that's how things have worked out for the Wake Forest head coach, now in his sixth year. After assistant and associate head coaching stints at Indiana State and Virginia, Bresky has brought the Demon Deacons to new heights in men's tennis. Colette Lewis of ZooTennis.com caught up with Bresky in Tulsa at the ITA All-American Championships - where the two discussed many tennis topics.

Virginia's Collins and Kwiatkowski Earn Titles at American Collegiate Invitational
The University of Virginia picked up where UCLA left off last year at the third annual American Collegiate Invitational, played at the end of the second week of the US Open. After Bruins Mackenzie McDonald and Robin Anderson had swept the titles in 2015, the Cavaliers dominated the proceedings this year, with recent graduate Danielle Collins taking the women's title and senior Thai Kwiatkowski capturing the men's championship.

College Tennis Players Spending the Summer with BB&T Atlanta Open
While most college students are spending their summer break working at summer camps, house sitting or maintaining lawns, there a half-dozen or so college tennis players giving a needed assist to the BB&T Atlanta Open, an ATP World Tour 250 event that is one of eight summer tournaments in the Emirates Airline US Open Series. These student athletes are getting to interact with names like Isner, Agassi and Kyrgios.

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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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Page updated on Wednesday, August 10, 2016
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