An incredible French Open match ended with both grief and frustration.
American Steve Johnson, still grieving the sudden death of his father just weeks ago, broke into tears after pulling out a fourth-set tiebreak, while opponent Borna Coric shattered his racket in anger after the loss.
Johnson’s father, Steve Johnson Sr., died in his sleep May 11 unexpectedly, and he has tried to play through the difficult emotions that have accompanied him since. After the final point Wednesday, Johnson dropped to his knees as tears flowed in a stunning release of emotion.
“I just miss my dad. I wish he was following along, I know he is from upstairs,” a tearful Johnson said in a post-match interview with Tennis Channel. “It’s just so emotional, it’s hard to describe. I just knew he was looking down on me on that last point and gave me the strength to finish it off.
“Physically, I’m OK, emotionally, I’m a mess,” he continued. “He always wanted me to be a fighter and a competitor, so that’s what I’m going to do, day in and day out. That’s the only thing I can do.”
On the other side of the court, the clearly-frustrated Coric smashed his racket on the clay repeatedly, breaking it into pieces, which he later apologized for on Twitter.
Source: Ny Daily News