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Johnson to become top-ranked American man

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August 18, 2016 08:53 PM

By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com

Steve Johnson has enjoyed a career year, with his first ATP title, a career-best Grand Slam showing and a standout performance at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

He'll achieve another milestone on Monday, becoming the top-ranked American in the men's rankings.

The 26-year-old, currently No. 23 in the ATP Rankings, will take over the top spot from John Isner, who has held it since July 2013.

“It hasn't sunk in yet. I just found out, so it's an honor,” Johnson told ATPWorldTour.com after upsetting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to advance to the round of 16 at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Cincinnati. “John has held that spot for a while, and I'm just glad that there are a bunch of Americans pushing towards the top.”

Johnson’s accomplishment comes after a remarkable turn in form this summer. After posting a 6-13 record on the ATP World Tour through Roland Garros, he has gone 20-7 since June.

The two-time NCAA singles champion for USC won his first ATP World Tour title this June in Nottingham, England, then reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time with a fourth-round showing at Wimbledon. Last week, he won a bronze medal in men’s doubles with Jack Sock at the Rio Games and reached the quarterfinals in singles, pushing eventual champion Andy Murray to a third-set tiebreak in the round-of-8 encounter.

Johnson followed up that result with his second-career Top 10 win this week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. He is into the quarterfinals after saving four set points to defeat No. 7 seed Tsonga on Thursday, 6-3, 7-6 (6).

Johnson will play Grigor Dimitrov on Friday for a place in the final four. 

 

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