Steve Johnson Bound For ITA Indoor Semis
Nov. 6, 2009
NEW HAVEN, CONN. - USC sophomore Steve Johnson has extended his run at the ITA National Indoor Championships with a pair of singles wins today to earn a semifinal slot tomorrow on the Yale campus. Johnson and teammate Robert Farah fell in doubles play earlier in the day, while Farah and Maria Sanchez both fell in hard-fought three-set matches during Round of 16 singles play.
Johnson and Farah began the day with a quarterfinal doubles match against Duke's Carleton/Cunha, but the Trojans were unable to push through for a semifinal spot as the Duke pair took the match 8-4 over the Trojans. Both USC players would then transition back to singles play, with Farah going up against a tough competitor in Georgia Tech's Guillermo Gomez. Farah grabbed the first set, but Gomez answered back and stole the win with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 decision.
Johnson turned to face Virginia's Jarmere Jenkins in his Round of 16 match, and the USC sophomore rolled to a straight-set win with a 7-5, 6-4 victory to roll into the afternoon's quarterfinals. There, Johnson faced Wisconsin's Marek Michalicka - whom Johnson and Farah had seen in doubles the previous day. Johnson slipped in the first-set tiebreaker but responded with a decisive win in the second game and was leading 4-0 in the third when Michalicka retired from the match to leave Johnson with a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 4-0 win and a place in tomorrow's semifinals. No. 5 seed Johnson will go up against top-seeded JP Smith of Tennessee at 1 p.m. ET tomorrow in their semifinal match.
On the women's side of things, USC junior Maria Sanchez went up against Fresno State's Anastasia Petukhova, who was coming off an upset win over the tournament's top seed. Sanchez wasn't phased, however, and went up in the match with a win in the first set. Petukhova came back with a second-set victory and then the pair fought through a tight final set before Petukhova emerged victorious with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Sanchez for the Trojan's first loss in eight matches.
Round of 32 - Nov. 5
Maria Sanchez (USC) def. Laura Vallverdu (Miami) - 6-2, 6-3
Round of 16 - Nov. 6
Anastasia Petukhova (Fresno St.) def. Maria Sanchez (USC) - 3-6, 6-3, 7-5
Quarterfinals - Nov. 6
[5[ Steve Johnson (USC) def. Marek Michalicka (Wisconsin) - 6-7 (3), 7-5, 4-0 ret.
Semifinals - Nov. 7
 Steve Johnson (USC) vs.  JP Smith (Tennessee) - 1 p.m. ET
Round of 16 - Nov. 5
Farah/Johnson (USC) def.  Michalicka/Baumann (Wisconsin) - 8-3
Quarterfinals - Nov. 6
Carleton/Cunha (Duke) def. Farah/Johnson (USC) - 8-4
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