Johnson pulls off great escape to reach 2nd round

Steve Johnson (Getty Images)
Steve Johnson (Getty Images)

New York - American Steve Johnson saved half a dozen match points in the third set as he rallied from two sets down to reach the second round of the US Open on Tuesday.

The 19th seed, who won his first ATP title in Nottingham this year, trailed Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-1, 5-2 before he managed to turn things around for a 4-6, 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 6-3 victory in three hours 12 minutes.

Serving at 2-5 in the third to stay in the match, Johnson trailed 0-40 but managed to hang on - then faced two more match points two games later.

Asked how he pulled off the great escape, Johnson admitted he wasn't quite sure.

"The last three-and-a-half hours have been a little bit of a blur, to be honest," he said. "I was ready to pack my bags and go home, and I just found a way to get out of that service game at 5-2.

"After winning the third, I just gave myself a shot. I just figured maybe my best stuff's not today, but I'll use my legs and run and just find a way."

With the hard-fought win Johnson can try to keep building on his 2016 success.

Since his win in Nottingham in June he has made the fourth round at Wimbledon, reached the quarter-finals at an ATP Masters for the first time at Cincinnati and reached the quarter-finals at the Rio Olympics.

His second round match, however, is a tall order. He'll face 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro - unseeded as he continues his climb back in the wake of a series of wrist injuries.

Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
46% - 3254 votes
Cricket
11% - 768 votes
Football
18% - 1262 votes
Athletics
2% - 140 votes
Boxing
1% - 56 votes
Cycling
2% - 143 votes
Golf
5% - 360 votes
Motorsport
7% - 507 votes
Tennis
3% - 216 votes
Water sports
1% - 63 votes
American sports
1% - 56 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 183 votes
Vote