Johnson Guts It Out

Erste Bank Open, Vienna

[CR11] Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs. [CR47] Steve Johnson (USA)

Johnson was close the last time they played; therefore, he had to be much more confident coming into this match. Yet, things looked a tad bleak after he double faulted to lose the first set. However, Johnson shook off his disappointment and redoubled his effort in the second set and his reward, the set in a tiebreak.  He had a much easier third set, relatively, and broke Anderson on his fifth attempt in the match.  He stayed very calm and with some clutch serving, gutted out the victory.  His 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-4 gave him his second victory in six attempts over Anderson and his third semifinal of the season.  Can he take it one step farther to the Final?  In his path is the streaky and dangerous player, Ernests Gulbis. If Johnson gets by Gulbis, he’ll be in his first ATP Tour singles final.


2015 Jack SockSock Avoids Second Loss To Simon

If Stockholm Open, Sweden

[CR15] Gilles Simon (FRA) vs. [CR32] Jack Sock (USA)

It was a very inconsistent and erratic match from Simon, who continues to struggle mentally when he has a lead.  He up 5-1 or 5-2 and should have won the second set; however, Simon was unable to serve it out.  He has developed a rather unfortunate habit of succumbing to the pressure when he is in front.  This psychological vulnerability is a new development in his game and he will have to take steps to resolve it/manage it over the off-season if he wants to remain competitive.  I noticed the issue when I watched him lose earlier this year to Andy Murray in a Davis Cup match.  He should have won; yet, inexplicably, he lost. Today was not quite as dramatic; however, he lost the second set from a winning position and ultimately the match.  Sock won 7-5, 7-6(5) and revenged his loss from earlier this season.  He will face another Frenchman in the semifinals, Richard Gasquet.

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