USC Alum Steve Johnson Embraces Wimbledon Championships


Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans Men’s Tennis Program has dominated the sporting landscape, winning four out of the last five national championships, largely thanks to the efforts of their sensation Steve Johnson.

The Trojans most decorated tennis star owns four team-national championships and back-to-back NCAA Single’s Titles, with the best of his career blossoming right before our eyes at Troy.

As the entire tennis world prepares for the greatest fortnight in sports, Steve Johnson awaits a Wimbledon first-round matchup with Bobby Reynolds at the All-England Club.

Johnson takes the court as an unseeded player in a difficult half of the draw, as top-seed Novak Djokovic, the 2011 Wimbledon Champion and most-recent Australian Open winner, stands looming in the second round.

Although the odds are stacked against any major run in the tournament, winning a first round match would be outstanding for the Trojan’s ace, earning one of four final wild-card berths just to make the tournament field.

The world’s 100th-ranked player, Steve Johnson will face fellow NCAA Tennis star Bobby Reynolds,  who led the Vanderbilt Commodores the 2003 National Championship Final.

Their first-round matchup will be a first for the two Americans, with the experience factor definitely playing in Reynolds favor. Reynolds has competed in three Wimbledon Championships, reaching an all-time best third round tilt back in 2009.

Johnson takes to the Wimbledon grass for the first time in his professional career after sitting out 2012 competition following his NCAA Title. That doesn’t mean the Trojan is afraid of embracing stiff competition in a major championship.

The 100th-ranked player in the world lost a heart-wrenching five-set match in the first round of the French Open. That coming off an equally painful five-set loss to No. 10 Nicolas Almagro in the first round of the 2013 Australian Open.

Not only will he take to the court for Singles, but Johnson is partnered with long-time friend Andreas Siljestrom in Doubles against un-seeded Samuel Groth and Chris Guccione.

Here is a quick refresher on the dominance Johnson displayed at the NCAA level. First and foremost, he captured the 2010–11 NCAA Singles Championship by defeating Rhyne Williams in the final.

In his final season at Troy, Johnson captured the 2011–2012 NCAA Singles Championship, defeating Kentucky’s Eric Quigley in the final, and ending his USC career with a 72-match winning streak, and a run of consecutive Singles’ National Championships for the first time since 2007-2008.

Johnson was named as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Player of the Year for 2010–11 and 2011–2012 seasons, as well as the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 Pac-12 Men’s Player of the Year. In his college career, he became a seven-time ITA All-American.

The success came early for Johnson, who was selected to All-Pac-10 First Team, as well as being named the Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year with Robert Farah as a freshman. His next season, Johnson was also selected to the All-Pac-10 First Team and was the named the Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year with Farah once again.

The Orange County native has diligently worked throughout his career for this type of moment, so expect the Trojan to showcase his best stuff at Tennis’ greatest Major Championship.