Johnson seeks to honour father's memory

by

June 03, 2017
Steve Johnson of the U.S. serves against Austria's Dominic Thiem during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France on Friday.
Austria's Dominic Thiem, right, and Steve Johnson of the U.S. watch approaching rain clouds during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France yesterday.
1
2

Steve Johnson was touched by his opponent's consoling words after his defeat in the third round of the French Open.

Playing through grief following the recent death of his father, a tennis coach who helped Johnson learn the game back home in California, the 25th-seeded American lost to sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-3.

Thiem, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros last year, celebrated modestly. He had some kind words for Johnson at the net.

"That means a lot," Johnson said. "There's life outside of sport and he gets that. He's a standup guy."

Johnson says his family will have a "celebration for his (father's) life" after Wimbledon.

"It's going to be held at the high school where we grew up playing tennis and he played tennis, and my mom and my sister went to school and played all kind of sports," Johnson said. "So it's going to be a place where it has a lot of meaning. Right now, I'm just trying to honour his name as best I can and just be a competitor. I know he'll look down proudly."

Other Sports Stories