CLEMSON, S.C. – It was just another day of practice when Luke Johnson found out that he would be playing at Wimbledon. “It was just surreal. It was a bizarre feeling,” commented Johnson. “I’m just practicing at my local club where I’ve trained for years and then suddenly two days later I was going to be down at Wimbledon practicing next to Federer and Nadal, [Murray], all these guys. It was weird.”
Despite falling in the opening round of Wimbledon, the Leeds-native was all smiles when discussing his career changing experience alongside doubles partner Evan Hoyt in London.
Johnson, just the sixth Tiger to compete at Wimbledon and the first since 1998 to compete in doubles, played for the Tigers from 2013-2016. After transferring from Florida in his sophomore season, Johnson earned national attention by earning an ITA ranking before becoming team captain his senior year.
Now on the ITF Futures Tour, Johnson believes that college helped him to prepare for life on the tour both physically and mentally. “On the Futures Tour you end up playing probably like 25 to 30 weeks of the year tournaments. It’s a rigorous schedule and I think the college tennis season prepares you physically for that. I think mentally as well, the actual pressure you play under in college is higher than when you’re on the futures tour. The actual winning and losing for the team was a bigger pressure than it is playing on the Futures Tour.”
Johnson completed his career as a Tiger with a 51-39 singles record and a 53-21 doubles mark. “It’s crazy when I look back. Everyone always asks me that. I would do college tennis again tomorrow.”
Massive thanks to the AELTC for the wildcard for myself and @HoytEvan into the doubles main draw at @Wimbledon ! Such an honour to be able to compete there!! pic.twitter.com/jCfB77ZkxV— Luke Johnson (@luke_johnson94) June 24, 2019
Massive thanks to the AELTC for the wildcard for myself and @HoytEvan into the doubles main draw at @Wimbledon ! Such an honour to be able to compete there!! pic.twitter.com/jCfB77ZkxV
— Luke Johnson (@luke_johnson94) June 24, 2019