A standout college athlete from USC, Steve Johnson is starting to make his impact on the professional circuit. Johnson started off his career in Southern California in the juniors and I, being a similar age, remember him quite well as we progressed through the years.
The image of a small skinny boy with long blonde hair and a backwards hat is how I still picture him to this day (Google it if you don’t believe me). I remember him beating up on guys twice his size and a couple years older with his crafty skills and quick movement. He would love to hit junk balls and I would be on the court next to him watching him dropshot then lob his opponent to death.
When he kicked off the action on Stadium Court Friday morning against Pablo Andujar, he is now looking much taller and stronger. However, Andujar proved to be a tough first round match.
Johnson came out on fire winning the first set with ease 6-2. The combination of big forehands and a high percentage of points one on his first serve (78%) helped him take the lead.
In the second set, Andujar showed why he is ranked 46 on the ATP. Andujar produced steady play and allowed Johnson to make the errors. Successfully converting all of his break point opportunities Andujar easily won the set 6-1.
By the third set, both players came out to play and battled back and forth. Johnson went down 0-40 on his serve and saved 3 break points to keep the set progressing on serve. Johnson had his chance with a break point at 4-4 but couldn’t capitalize. Andujar finished out the match by coming up with a big forehand approach shot down the line.
While Steve lost a tough match, he still made a statement on the court in his Asics Solution Speed that showed off his quickness. While we don’t carry his specific outfit, do check out the Asics Spring Group that consists of bold orange and blue hues. Lastly, Johnson uses the Babolat AeroPro Drive for his spin and power.
While he is out of singles action, we spotted him on the court this morning practicing with one of the greats, Roger Federer. Check back here for more blogs about the player’s and their gear at the BNP Paribas Open.