Tennis Prose



Jack Sock Makes Winning Pickleball Debut

All eyes were on Jack Sock today at the Carvana PPA Tour in Charlotte as he became the first ATP player to play professional pickleball. Sock prevailed in singles vs Anton Gudz 11-8 and 11-4.

About his debut performance Sock rated it as “solid” but he “expected more of himself” adding that the factors of it being his first official pro match may have inhibited him from playing his best level.

He said his tactics of serve and then blasting the big forehand, like his ATP play style, was more inconsistent than he expected today. “I’m happy to get through and see what I can do,” Sock said.

Sock was anticipated to play the highly regarded pickleballer James Ignatowich in the secound round match however Ignatowich was upset by a qualifier, with some pickleball observers speculating he “didn’t want the heat” of having to play Sock.

Sock is playing singles and also mixed doubles with top champion Anna Leigh Waters and also mens doubles with another top champion Tyson McGuffin.

“I want to be able to play both sports maybe simultaneously based on schedule. I kind of want to be the bridge between the gap between the two sports. I love both, tennis has brought me so many amazing things, now pickleball is a fresh and new exciting sport. Both lifelong sports, both incredible in their own ways.”

The 30 year old Sock, who last played on the ATP World Tour in April at the Sarasota Open, where he lost in the first round to Tristan Boyer in a third set tiebreaker, is a resident of Charlotte. The former Wimbledon champion in doubles and Olympic gold medalist has seen his ATP singles ranking fall to outside the top 160.

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  • ryan b · May 5, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    paddle shouldn’t even be compared to tennis and in my opinion is a parks and rec activity and def NOT a professional sport

    pathetic querry, sock and rubin think this is a next step…..

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 5, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    Ryan B, I get the sense Sock Q and the next ATP and WTA crossovers are going to rampage through the pickleball elites who were all middle of the road, mediocre college tennis players. Once elite pro tennis players learn pickleball they will master it and dominate. I feel that is what the pickleball establishment fears. In a way it’s good for PB, as it brings in new stars, but it’s also bad in that it shows the PB elites had a shortlived day in the sun. Pickleball is more of a sport than golf or auto racing or snooker )

  • Cory · May 6, 2023 at 11:15 am

    agreed fully, the majority of pickleball achievers will be headed for the sunsets soon enough if the ATP and WTA invade (notwithstanding the top tier, McGuffin e.g). But fact is it’s going to be expired ATP pros like Sock and Querrey, and vagrants like Rubin basically playing because like the rest of us they’re tennis addicts and if they can make a buck, and have mini horrahs, great. We won’t expect an influx of players to arrive until it transcends rec status and some reasonable prize money and acclaim arrive. i do think that’s coming tho. Great sport/game, it’s micro tennis, it appeals to all players old and young, huge serving is neutralized and its all about skills and cat & mouse tactics. It’s a joke now but not for long.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 6, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    Cory, Sock lost in singles to a guy I never heard of, lefty, in the second round, so Sock flopped in PB debut. Doubles and mixed he’s still in with great partners. Confidence issues in tennis may be factoring into his PB performance also. He’s totally lost his mojo.

  • Cory · May 6, 2023 at 6:02 pm

    fair scoop, however i’ll give sock a pass here since while the tactics are the same, the court size is different, paddles, ball, all new. It may take months or years to fully acclimate (as it should)

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 6, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    Cory, I found it interesting that Sock’s doubles partner Tyson McGuffin, a top singles PB player who is in the singles final, said this about Sock along these lines, “He’s the most laid back person I know, he’s not serious at all.” I think he’s trying to say Sock is just not serious enough to be a top player in anything now. The talent and weapons are there but Sock just wants to have fun and enjoy it, he’s not treating each match like life and death which all the top players in any sport do. I think McGuffin noticed this flaw or trait in Sock and put it out to cover for himself as they lost in the QF in doubles badly, probably due to Sock. He’s had enough time to get the hang of PB but being unserious and laid back will not result in getting to the top. The competition is just too tough. Maybe Sock earning over $10m from tennis has dulled his edge and desire also.



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