Steve Johnson gets thrill facing McEnroe Andy Roddick talks to ABC7 about SAP Open

There seems to be a youth movement at this year's SAP Open, which could bode well for the future of men's American tennis -- Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison and Steve Johnson just to name a few. More on Johnson, who is still in college and a senior at USC.

Johnson got the thrill of his lifetime last night at the SAP Open playing against legend John McEnroe in a doubles exhibition.

"A little nerve-wracking to be honest. He's a great competitor, the guy is really fiery, as anyone in tennis would know," said Johnson.

Johnson won the NCAA individual title last year as a junior and decided to come back for his senior year instead of turning pro.

"We have a rare opportunity to match Stanford, what they did in the 90s, winning four consecutive national titles and I really feel it's a big goal of mine right now," said Johnson.

He is also ready to be booed when introduced in Stanford territory.

"Yeah, I'm always prepared for that. I fell like anywhere we go USC's got a big target on our back, you either love USC or you hate them," said Johnson.

He took the fall semester off to play some pro events and this amateur knows he has some work to do before he can compete at the next level.

"I feel like getting the right matches in tournaments like this under my belt and getting these experiences. I feel like I can have good chances against the top 100 guys," said Johnson.

Johnson looks up to the current group of American players like Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish. He's ready to take the torch for the next wave of American men.

"I've had the opportunity to hit with them a bunch and train with them and what they have to offer to American tennis is something special and to learn from those guys as much as possible is what I'm trying to do," said Johnson.

His future looks bright.

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san jose, SAP, sports, mike shumann
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