/For Steve Johnson at French Open, a First-Round Win and Tears

For Steve Johnson at French Open, a First-Round Win and Tears

“Just a lot of emotions,” Johnson, 27, said in a cracking voice. “He was such a big part of my tennis life.”

Again, he apologized as he wiped tears from his eyes.

“It’s not about tennis right now,” he said. “Sorry.”

On learning of his father’s death about two weeks ago, Johnson pulled out of a tournament in Madrid. Unsure of what to do next, he pushed on with tennis, in part because his mother, sister and fiancée had planned for months to follow Johnson during the clay-court season in Europe. Johnson said his father had planned to join him at Wimbledon in July.

Photo

Second-seeded Novak Dojokic of Serbia defeated Marcel Granollers of Spain in straight sets.

Credit
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Johnson then went to Geneva and reached the quarterfinals there, though his description of it sounded as if he was just going through the motions. His first-round meeting with the 78th-ranked Sugita had been suspended on Sunday because of darkness. He called the two-day match perhaps the most difficult he has endured.

He said that…

Read Story