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Steve Johnson Advances To Third Round Of French Open With Heavy Heart

09 Juin 2017

Venus Williams has reached the French Open's fourth round by beating an opponent who is 15 years younger than she is.

Johnson's father, Steve Johnson Sr., died in his sleep May 11 unexpectedly, and he has tried to play through the hard emotions that have accompanied him since.

He may never win a grand slam - or even get to the second week - but Olivo now has memories of his stint on one of tennis' most famous arenas to last a lifetime.

"Physically, I'm OK, emotionally, I'm a mess", he continued.

The eighth-seeded Russian beat No. 32 Zhang Shuai of China 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5, improving to 5-1 in their head-to-head matches.

The 25th-seeded American had burst into tears after his second-round victory over Borna Coric on Wednesday.

Coric was knocked out yesterday in the round of 64 after a 6-2, 7-6 (10-8), 3-6 7-6 (8-6) loss to 25th seed Steve Johnson.

Shelby Rogers
Steve Johnson Advances To Third Round Of French Open With Heavy Heart

He immediately collapsed to the ground as the emotions boiled over.

"I have no idea what happened after I hit the forehand". "I will be watching in 20 years with all of you guys". Today was just such an emotional match-a long match, up and down.

"I know it's going to be emotional for quite some time", Johnson said of his father's death earlier this month at age 58. (But) there were times where my mind wandered a little bit here and there for a lot of different reasons.

"I knew he was looking down on me in that last point and it gave me the strength to finish it off. I was able to just find a way through it".

Seeded losers in the men's second round: No. 23 Ivo Karlovic.

So, yes, thank goodness for Johnson.

On a more serious note, Djokovic said he was pleased with his form after coming through some hard times since completing a career Grand Slam at Roland Garros past year. The Austrian should look to fairly aggressive, attacking Johnson's serves as much as possible and trying to get play onto his strong one-handed backhand as much as possible.

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Steve Johnson Advances To Third Round Of French Open With Heavy Heart