by JAMES HENRY
CINCINNATI – Even after losing, you still can win.
During the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, American Steve Johnson lost in a third-set tiebreaker to England’s Andy Murray, the world’s No. 2-ranked player, in the quarterfinals of singles.
Dropping the first set 0-6, Johnson dramatically rebounded and claimed the second set, 6-4. Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and also the defending Olympic gold medalist, then prevailed in the tiebreaker, 6-7 (2).
Just an hour and a half later, Johnson was back on the tennis court with partner Jack Sock in men's doubles.
“It was emotional. I left a lot of heart and soul out there in the loss to Murray. He played great. To turn around 90 minutes later to come play doubles, if you lose that, you know it’s going to be even more heartbreaking and you leave Rio with nothing, essentially,” he said.
Johnson and Sock, however, defeated Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil to win the bronze medal.
“I was in tears after the singles,” Johnson recalled. “It was pure joy after the doubles.”
Johnson said he was proud to represent the United States in the Olympics, as he did during his Davis Cup debut in the World Group playoff against Uzbekistan last September.
“Anything for a team, something greater than yourself,” he beamed.