With two tournaments on each side of the country waiting, senior Steve Johnson has a busy week of tennis action ahead of him.
Before Johnson joins the No. 1 USC men’s tennis team in Virginia for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, he is taking a shot at the singles draw in the SAP Open that started Monday and goes through Feb. 19 in San Jose, Calif.
Johnson’s fourth Association of Tennis Professionals competition will pit him against the likes of France’s Gael Monfils, American Andy Roddick and Canada’s Milos Raonic, who are seeded No. 1, 2 and 3, respectively.
On Monday night, Johnson participated in an exhibition doubles match alongside Monfils against John McEnroe, the 52-year-old tennis legend, and fellow American Jack Sock. McEnroe and Sock came out on top 6-4, 6-4 in the friendly.
Barring his advance to the latter stages of the San Jose tournament, Johnson will rejoin the undefeated Trojans in Virginia on Friday for the four-day ITA Indoors tournament.
Johnson, the reigning NCAA singles champion, took the fall semester off to train as an amateur on the professional circuit.
He has played in several tournaments in the spring. He is currently ranked No. 365 in ATP singles and No. 191 in ATP doubles.
He most recently flew to Hawaii in late January to participate in the ATP Honolulu Challenger, where he lost in the first round 2-6, 4-6 to American Robby Ginepri.
In collegiate play, the ITA National Player of the Year and Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2011 currently has a 44-match winning streak in singles play dating back to March 2010.
He hopes to lead the Trojans to their fourth-consecutive NCAA team championship in April.