Johnson expecting tough Granollers challenge

Steve Johnson expects a tough challenge in the Hall of Fame Championships semifinals despite holding a 2-0 record over opponent Marcel Granollers.

Johnson booked his place in the last four in Newport with a comprehensive 6-2 6-3 victory over Dudi Sela on Friday, the American needing less than an hour to progress.

His win came after Granollers had dispatched top seed Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-1, booking his first semifinal since 2015 in Zagreb.

Johnson has won both matches against the Spaniard – in 2014 and 2015 – so will go into the clash as favourite, but he insists it will not be an easy task.

“That [their head-to-head record] is not going to play into effect here,” Johnson said.

“He’s a great tennis player. He’s won [ATP] 500s, he’s no slouch. He’s a Grand Slam doubles champion. So he knows how to come in and be aggressive.

“He’s a tough competitor and I know he’s going to come out tomorrow guns blazing and I’m going to try to do the same.”

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