Steve Johnson is the Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells champion.
On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in the desert, an all-American final for the ages greeted fans on Stadium 5. Tournament No. 5 seed Steve Johnson took on heralded ATP Tour veteran Jack Sock with the title on the line.
Each competitor has had an impressive week leading up the final, with Sock looking in vintage form while downing a row of higher-ranked opponents No. 1 seed Ugo Humbert, No. 13 seed Evgeny Donskoy, No. 11 seed Denis Kudla and rising 18-year-old American Brandon Nakashima.
Johnson, the World No. 75, has had a tremendous week as he’s dropped only one total set en route to victories over Marc Polmans, Taro Daniel, Noah Rubin and Mitchell Krueger. He took the court on Sunday with a perfect opportunity to claim his second ATP Challenger Tour title of the 2020 season and didn’t disappoint.
The four-time ATP Tour titlist overwhelmed Sock throughout the match on his way to a 6-4, 6-4 straight-set victory. Sock, the former World No. 8 and three-time Grand Slam doubles champion, did what he could on Sunday afternoon but was unable to replicate his early week success. Johnson had everything working, including aggressive service play and steady ground strokes that allowed him to break Sock early in each set.
“I felt really good out there today and played well at key moments. Luckily I got a few break opportunities early to keep momentum going and I played those points well.”
It’s clear that Johnson, a Southern California native who played collegiate tennis at nearby USC, enjoys playing at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
“I think I bring my game to another level when there’s full stands like today, and that’s why this is one of my favorite places to play. The grounds are packed, the sun is shining, and people are enjoying the game. It doesn’t get much better than playing here.”