/American Steve Johnson advances in emotional five-set match

American Steve Johnson advances in emotional five-set match

Sandra Harwitt, Special for USA TODAY Sports

Published 12:43 p.m. ET May 29, 2017 | Updated 3 hours ago


Rafael Nadal had a winning start at Roland Garros, as he begins the hunt for his 10th French Open championship. Defending champion Novak Djokovic and Stevie Johnson also advanced.

PARIS — Steve Johnson arrived at his post-match news conference before the small group of media assembled and he was already seen wiping away tears with his hands prior to the questioning.

The 25th seed, Johnson wasn’t overcome by pulling through a 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-3 first round outing against Yuichi Sugita of Japan, in a match that was carried over from Sunday when darkness stopped the proceeding after the third set.

Sadly, Johnson is a player playing in mourning.

His father, Steve Sr. a prominent and popular tennis coach from Southern California, unexpectedly passed away in his sleep at the age of 58 a little over two weeks ago.

Johnson, who won two NCAA singles titles while…

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