Steve Johnson Wins Challenger Doubles Title|
Nov. 14, 2011
USC senior Steve Johnson paired with Texas A&M alum Austin Krajicek to take home the doubles crown at the USTA $50,000 Challenger in Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday. The team beat unranked Adam Hubble of Australia and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark in a tight battle 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (13-11). Hubble/Nielson had earned their trip to the finals after upsetting the tournament's top seeds in the quarterfinals. Johnson and Karjicek landed a chance at the title match after the wildcard pair moved past the No. 2 and 3 seeds in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
The win gives Johnson No. 190 ATP ranking in doubles and No. 352 in singles. Johnson now heads to Champaign, Ill., to compete at the JSM $50,000 Challenger in both singles and doubles. Qualifying for singles after the last two weeks of competition in Charlottesville and Knoxville, Johnson faces No. 6 seed Uladzimir Ignatik of Belarus, No. 171 in singles ATP rankings. On the doubles side, Johnson joins forces with former Virginia Cavalier UK's Dominic Inglot, who was the 2009 NCAA Doubles Champion.
Johnson is taking the fall semester to test the waters in the pro circuit as an amateur, and will return to the USC men's team in the spring to play out his senior season as the Trojans look to win their fourth straight national championship.