Trojans Flex Pro Muscle At US Open
Aug. 29, 2012
Steve Johnson's US Open doubles debut was as big as it gets, as the Trojan paired up with fellow U.S. pro Jack Sock for the biggest upset of the day, beating the doubles top seeds in a three-setter on Aug. 28. Johnson -- also lined up for singles play in the main draw as a wildcard from his 2012 NCAA Singles Championship -- teamed with Sock for an impressive winning comeback against Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor. Mirnyi/Nestor grabbed the first set, but Johnson and Sock buckled back in and won the second in a tiebreaker, finishing off the upset with a 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 victory. That launches the U.S. pair into the second round against Frantisek Cermak/Michal Mertinak
Not to be left out of the winning Trojan efforts out at the US Open, USC grad Maria Sanchez pocketed her first career main-draw win at the Open in a first-round doubles victory today (Aug. 29). Sanchez is paired up with former Notre Dame star Irina Falconi for US Open doubles play, and the duo notched a strong 6-2, 6-3 win in today's action to advance. Sanchez and Falconi's win today over Alexandra Cadantu and Mathilde Johansson pushes the U.S. pair into the second round. There, Sanchez and Falconi will face either No. 4 seed Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova or Anne Keothavong and Anna Tatishvili.
Johnson would go on to dip into singles competition today, facing countryman Rajeev Ram in the first round. Johnson would shrug off going down a break in the first set by rattling off four straight games to claim the first set 6-3. In the second, the opponents stayed tight, but again Johnson would rally, surging in a tiebreaker to take a two-set advantage. In the third, Johnson got up a late break and rolled on for the straight-set finish, pocketing a 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-3 win for the Trojan's first US Open singles win. Johnson advances to take on Ernests Gulbis in the second round.
On the other half of the men's doubles draw from Johnson and Sock stands Johnson's 2009 and 2010 NCAA Championship teammate Robert Farah. The Colombian native is back in the US Open doubles main draw with partner Juan Cabal, and the pair faces No. 12 seeded Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the first round.
Follow along at usopen.org