The American lost his father unexpectedly one year ago. (AP)

Writing for the ATP World Tour's My Point, Steve Johnson put into words what his last 12 months have been like since the sudden passing of his father. The 28-year-old had to cope with the emotions of losing the most important face in his player box while trying to still compete normally on tour. 

Johnson describes the horror of learning his father passed away in his sleep at the age of 58, and then sheds light on his battle with anxiety and how he's coped since that terrible day.

Having been Johnson’s first coach and the architect behind his game, Stevie Sr. will always be the most influential person in Johnson’s life.

"I never want to forget what Dad has done to get me to this point. I’m very blessed — I get to play tennis for a living, so the bad days are still great,” Johnson said.

When Johnson won his first career ATP title in Houston last year, it was with his father by his side.

A year later, Johnson returned to Houston and defended his title with his father watching from above. 

Johnson is in Rome this week where he ousted Stan Wawrinka before falling in the round of 32.


ATP Rome (5/13 - 5/20)

-Tennis Channel Plus features five courts of live action from the Internazionali BNL d'Italia beginning Sunday, May 13 at 5:00 am ET!