Trojans Move On In NCAA Individual Action
May 21, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS - USC's Steve Johnson earned himself another stretch of double duty in Texas with a winning run through his Round of 32 singles and doubles matches today at the 2009 NCAA Individual Championships in College Station, Texas.Johnson began the day with an impressive singles comeback win before teaming up with Robert Farah for a straight-set doubles win later in the afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. On the women's side of the action today, senior Amanda Fink was upended for the first time in 26 matches, falling in the women's singles round of 32.
For senior Amanda Fink, the Round of 32 loss snapped a powerful and impressive 25-match winning streak which she had ridden through the Pac-10 Singles Championship and beyond. In today's second round, Fink came up against 2009 NCAA Team Champion Duke's Ellah Nze. Nze fought off Fink with some consistent play to move ahead, managing a 6-2, 6-3 win over Fink. Fink closes down her USC playing career with a 36-8 singles record this season for a 138-42 career singles record.
On the court next to Fink, freshman Steve Johnson was doing battle with 9-16 seed Guillermo Gomez of Georgia Tech. Under a hot Texas sun, Johnson fell behind early, broken on his second service game and wound up falling 3-6 in the first set. Johnson would not be shaken by his seeded opponent, however, as he got his first break over Gomez to go up 3-2 and later secure the second set with one more break of his Yellowjacket foe. In the third set, Johnson held serve throughout once again and powered his way to victory and a trip to the Round of 16 with a final 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback effort. Johnson will face No. 5 seed Bruno Agostinelli of Kentucky tomorrow (May 22) in the Round of 16 at 11 a.m. CT.
Hours after punching his singles ticket to the Round of 16, Johnson got back to action with teammate Robert Farah in double play. Farah/Johnson set the tone early by cracking their TCU opponents Brighiu/Simon with a couple of early breaks while the Trojan duo drilled out a solid lead in the first set. In the second, Farah/Johnson got an early edge again and rode that out with more strong serving, as Farah capped off a 6-2, 6-4 win with one last ace. Farah/Johnson move into the doubles Round of 16 tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. CT against Auburn's Puetz/Tsyrenov.
NCAA SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIPS - MEN
(8) Robert Farah
First Round (May 20): lost to Bruno Rosa (Rice) - 7-5, 7-6 (6)
First Round (May 20): def. Kalle Norburg (Ole Miss) - 6-3, 7-6 (2)
Second Round (May 21): def. (9-16) Guillermo Gomez (Georgia Tech) - 3-6 6-3, 6-2
Round of 16 (May 22): vs. (5) Bruno Agostinelli (Kentucky) - 11 a.m. CT
NCAA SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP - WOMEN
First Round (May 20): lost to (5) Mallory Cecil (Duke) - 6-4, 6-1
First Round (May 20): def. Noelle Hickey (Georgia Tech) - 6-4, 6-3
Second Round (May 21): lost to Ellah Nze (Duke) - 6-2, 6-3
First Round (May 20): lost to Alex Haney (Auburn) - 6-3, 6-4