Home Boys' Lists Girls' Lists Men's Teams Women's Teams News Photos Contributors Links Help Sign-UpOnline Store
Latest News | Categories | Authors | News Archives
 
 

News & Features

Where Are They Now?
A Conversation with Steve Johnson
Share:   

For college tennis fans, Steve Johnson needs no introduction. After completing his four years of eligibility at the University of Southern California in 2012, the 24-year-old from Hermosa Beach, California moved into the professional ranks having won an unprecedented four NCAA team titles and two NCAA singles titles, ending his collegiate career on a 72-match winning streak.

Former USC standout Steve Johnson
© Bill Kallenberg, CapturedInAction.com
With just one full year behind him on the ATP tour - 2013 - Johnson has already played in the main draw of every slam, and after two Challenger titles this year and his first appearance in an ATP semifinal in Delray Beach, he is now the third-ranked American at No. 69.

After securing direct entry into both the French Open and Wimbledon this summer by winning the title at last month's $100,000 Challenger in Guadeloupe, Johnson took a break from the tour before heading to Europe this week.

Prior to his trip, I spoke to Johnson by telephone about his college experience, the pro life style, his comfort level on clay and grass, accepting wild cards, his legacy at USC, and much more.

 

Questions and Answers

Colette Lewis (CL): Do you feel the fact that you weren't faced with a decision whether to go to college or turn pro might have actually helped you?

Steve Johnson (SJ): Yeah, I really do. If I had focused on this as what I am supposed to do in life, and become a professional at 16, I think the pressure might have gotten to me. I was an above-average junior, but I wasn't winning national singles titles left and right. I was doing well in doubles and round of 16 or quarters in singles. But I would have put too much pressure on myself, because I would have been committed to something much sooner than I should have been committed to it.

 

CL: When did becoming a professional tennis player begin being more than a dream for you?

SJ: Every kid, myself included, grows up wanting to be a professional tennis player. You watch the grand slams on TV and you want to win there, you want to play there, be there. It wasn't until I was 17, 18 that I thought it was reality, not just a dream. But I knew, on the court and off the court, I wasn't prepared to handle that lifestyle.

 

Johnson is arguably the most decorated college tennis player in history
© ZooTennis.com
CL: How did college tennis prepare you for that lifestyle?

SJ: When I got to USC, it was quite an eye-opener, how hard we worked, how everyone acted who was above me. I would never not go to college in my situation - I was always going to go and play my four years. But pro tennis became a reality when I was in college and starting to become successful against very good players.

 

CL: What do you miss most about college?

SJ: The biggest thing is just the team. I miss hanging out with those 10, 15 guys every day. Going to practice with those guys every day, putting in the hard work with those guys, then at the end of the day, you go out, have dinner, have a great time, relax. They're your closest buddies. You work as hard as you do with them, but when it comes down to it, the success we share as a team is something I'll never forget.

This Article Is Available Only to Recruiting Advantage members
 
Please log in to access premium TennisRecruiting.net content.
LOG IN
User Name
 
Password
 
 
Forget your password?
 
Register Now For Free!
NOT REGISTERED?
Register Now For Free!
  • Content Updated Daily
  • Complete Rank Lists
  • Exclusive Articles
  • Recruit Interviews
It's Quick, Easy, and Free!
 

 
 TENNIS EXPRESS GEAR GUIDE
 
Genie Bouchard Wimbledon Gear
 
A full size video with all related links is available on our store's YouTube Channel. To purchase from Tennis Express or to find out more, Click Here!
 
RECENT COMMITMENTS
7/21 Simran Sethi chooses Oklahoma
7/21 Elisa Nelson chooses Air Force
7/20 Elan Dantus chooses Kalamazoo
7/20 Lazar Dokov chooses Temple
7/20 Donika Bashota chooses Washington State
7/17 Jasmine Gabriel chooses Belmont Abbey
7/17 Darian Defrench chooses Belmont Abbey
7/16 Cara Kemp chooses Washington
7/16 Emily Mone chooses St. Catherine
7/16 Oscar Nielsen chooses Texas Tyler

Full Listings: Boys' Commits & Girls' Commits

 
 WTA GEAR - SHOES
  Garbine Muguruza Blanco
 
adidas Women's CC Adizero Tempaia III Tennis Shoes
Was: $120.00  Now: $109.95
Feedback
 
  Nadia Petrova
 
BABOLAT Women's SFX White Tennis Shoes
Buy Now: $99.95
Feedback, Video
 
  Julia Goerges
 
FILA Women's Sentinel Tennis Shoes
Was: $100.00  Now: $89.00
Feedback, Video
 
  Carla Suarez Navarro
 
LOTTO Women's Raptor Ultra IV Tennis Shoes
Was: $140.00  Now: $119.95
Feedback
 
 
 

Page updated on Thursday, June 19, 2014
Contact our web team with any corrections