Steve Johnson Wins 10th Straight Match on USTA Pro Circuit|
Sept. 26, 2011
As the reigning NCAA singles champion and a member of the three-time defending NCAA team champion USC Trojans, Steve Johnson knows a thing or two about winning on college courts. Thus far this fall, the senior is proving himself at the next level of competitive tennis: the USTA Pro Circuit.
Johnson won his second Futures title in a row, 10th consecutive match and 20th straight set on Sunday, defeating Artem Sitak of New Zealand 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the Costa Mesa Pro Classic.
The 2011 Campbell/ITA National Player of the Year plans on going back to school in the spring with hopes of leading USC to its fourth consecutive NCAA Division I team title. Until then, he is testing his game out against professionals, and passing with flying cardinal and gold.
After losing the first set of his first-round match at the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Pro Classic on Sept. 14, Johnson won 20 straight sets en route to Futures titles at Claremont and Costa Mesa.
Along the way, the five-time ITA All-American defeated five of his peers from the collegiate game: Kyle McMorrow (Washington junior), Sanam Singh (Virginia '11), Vladimir Obradovic (Florida '06), Neal Skupski (LSU senior) and Dennis Lajola (Hawaii '11). Johnson's Pac-12 rival McMorrow was the only player to win a set against him in either Claremont or Costa Mesa.
After 10 victories in 12 days, Johnson, a native of Orange, Calif., will remain in the Golden State and take a week off from the circuit before competing at Challenger events in Sacramento and Tiburon next month.
He rose 60 spots to a career-high No. 471 in the ATP World Tour rankings on Monday, which does not take into account his latest title run. The 18 ranking points that Johnson picked up in Costa Mesa will elevate him to another career-high mark on October 3rd.
Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Pro Classic
1st:  Steve Johnson def. [Q] Kyle McMorrow 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4
Costa Mesa Pro Classic
1st:  Steve Johnson def. [Q] Neal Skupski 6-4, 7-5