Johnson Headlines Tallahassee Tennis Challenger

Steve Johnson (photo: Jacob Stuckey)

TALLAHASSEE, April 6, 2021 (Press Release)

Professional tennis returns to Tallahassee after a one-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 event will follow strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure a safe and healthy event for players, staff and volunteers. No spectators will be allowed on the grounds, but all matches will be live streamed.

The tournament is the third USTA Pro Circuit men’s Challenger event of the 2021 season and is held on clay courts to help develop players on the surface leading up to the French Open. There are 11 USTA Pro Circuit men’s events (ITF World Tennis Tour events and Challengers combined) currently scheduled to take place in the USTA Florida Section in 2021.

World No. 83 Steve Johnson is the highest-ranked of the 23 men who received direct acceptance into the 32-player main draw. 16 players will compete in the qualifying tournament April 18-19, for four other berths. The USTA will also award wild card entries to complete the field.

The 31-year-old American has been ranked as high as No. 21 in the world and has claimed four ATP Tour singles titles throughout his career. The most recent one came at the 2018 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island. He has also scored four wins over top-10 players during his career. Johnson most recently competed in the Tallahassee Tennis Challenger main draw in 2013 where he was defeated by Christian Harrison in Round 1.

Johnson is an accomplished doubles player, winning a Bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with Jack Sock. He has also claimed one ATP Tour doubles title and reached the semifinals of the US Open.

Joining Johnson in the main draw is 2013 singles champion Denis Kudla, 20-year-old American prospect Jenson Brooksby, 2009 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Ivo Karlovic, 2021 Cordoba Open champion Juan Manuel Cerundolo and 2020 Chile Open champion Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Notable players expected to compete in the qualifying event include Thomaz Bellucci, Christian Harrison, Jack Sock and Donald Young.