Jack Sock Practice Fun, Citi Open Wednesday


Watching Jack Sock practice on the day of a match is more entertaining than some live pro matches. Sock is an entertainer, who likes to have fun and enjoy the sport and the moment.

Today, in the early afternoon Sock was hitting with Isner, before his early evening showdown with Raonic on stadium court (Isner later lost in a third set tiebreak to Steve Johnson, double faulting at 6-6).

But back to Sock. He and Isner are on the first practice court. A good crowd is surrounding the fence around them. They are practicing some serves, back and forth, it’s intense but light at the same time.

Sock hitting overheads then suddenly out of nowhere he hits a lefty overhead, and it’s so good you can hardly notice it was lefty. He smiles and looks at Isner after he clouts it.

They are serving. Sock hits some big serves and asks, “Where was that in Atlanta.” He lost the Atlanta semi to Isner 75 64 and obviously didn’t serve his best.

Isner is serving. Sock swipes returns back then suddenly belts a return and attacks the net, to surprise Isner, and makes a volley.

Sock serves off of feed tosses off the racquet of his coach. Pretty neat stuff, never saw this done before. Then Sock deflected feeds from coach as his own toss and serves those. Really cool.

Sock says to Isner, “You gotta catch it.” But not sure what the game was.

DY’s mom walks by the court fence and hand slaps with Sock.

Before more serves Sock shows off his Spanish soccer tennis skills with his feet.

He does a serve and volley drill but light, with Isner.

Sock nets a volley and says, “Oh my gosh.”

Then he chats with Johnson on the adjacent court but I can’t hear what they say. Johnson and Isner don’t acknowledge each other at all.

Justin Gimelstob walks by in a suit, Sock says to him that he doesn’t need to wear a belt, he plays golf all the time.

Then Sock says to Gimel, “Ask about the flying apple.” But I have no idea what that’s about.

Sock makes a crazy volley to which Gimelstob remarks, “That was a nonchalant sick volley.”

You can understand why Sock likes to chat with fans behind the baseline sometimes. He’s a fun loving guy, who is letting his personality show. Sock has a lot of flare and talent and also charisma.

Let me tell you, if you get the chance, watch Sock practice. You’ll enjoy it.


Paes and Groth defeated Lindstedt and another guy. 6l 76. Groth played quite well in presumably his debut with the Indian master. I love how Paes works the chemistry, and his mannerisms on the court and to inspire and also salute his partner after good work. Paes is still a master.

A weird thing happened in the WTA match between Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas vs. Kurumi Nara of Japan. Diyas was down 03 in the third and missed two shots on her serve and then pointed to her elbow, then walked off the court. The WTA and staff couldn’t find her. A reporter named Yuri from Russia told me about this, as he was scheduled to interview her. They never found her. Without knowing this, I remembered seeing her walk by around the stadium around this time empty handed, she had caught my eye earlier in the week because of her unique Asian features. I thought she won her match and was going to mixed zone. Then I saw her later in the back of the media tent, sort of hidden behind plant decor.

Yuri told me the interesting story about Diyas and the federation. The Kazakhstan federation gives to four Russian players a hundred thousand yearly stipend plus a 3 bedroom apartment to represent Kazakstan. But Diyas is a natural Kazakhstani and they don’t give her anything, she is completely funded by her parents.

Yuri also told me Marat Safin supports Evgeny Donskoy. Safin looked at six players to invest in and decided to fund Donskoy, who showed him the most potential. Donskoy is not obligated to pay back until later, after he starts winning more money. Donskoy is close to turning the corner, but the obstacle to overcome now is to start winning the important points.

Christina McHale and Lauren Davis, both with big wins on Tuesday, practiced twice together today. Taking a 30 minute break between.

I watched Stefan Kozlov and Jared Donaldson take on the Bryans in the stadium night match. Kozlov was on fire, making many volley winners and two net cord winners. Kozlov and JD broke back and were at 55 but the Bryans took over in crunch time. Kozlov showed emotions that he fully expected and believed he could beat the Bryans. He certainly showed his greatness.

I texted most of the first set happenings to Andrei Kozlov down in FL as the match was not televised by Tennis Channel.

Before the match I saw Kozlov hitting with Tom Gullikson of the USTA who is working with him. They played a baseline slice game up the line. Kozlov was jacked for it and handled the Gully challenge, saying a couple of come ons. The Kozlov Kid is a Tiger.

I spoke with Gully about his famous Wimbledon match with John McEnroe for my Facing McEnroe project. Also interviewed Richey Reneberg about McEnroe, of course, Reneberg was on the court when McEnroe won his final Wimbledon.

DY had a nice win over Benneteau. Gasquet came out at the end of the first set to watch the final points with Bruguera. But they were speaking French, Gasquet laughed at something he said on Benneteau’s set point miss.

Dudi Sela lost in straights to Gasquet later, and after the match he didn’t go to the locker room, he and his coach just left the grounds, with Sela changing his shirt at the entrance. Then they were gone.

Dr. Ivo was practicing early today around noon on the same court he beat Paire on last night. Dr. Ivo is a hard worker.

The amazing Victor Estrella continued his magic with a 76 64 win over F Lopez. After the match Estrella told me Babolat gives him attire and shoes and racquets but no money. He’s looking for a clothing sponsor who will pay.

Sock was up a break in the second set but couldn’t close it, losing in straights to Raonic.

Another close but no cigar for Sam Querrey, losing a close three setter to Nishikori.

Vasek Pospisil bageled Rajeev Ram in the first set than had to fight out a long tiebreak to close out Ram in the second set. Pospisil vs. Berdych next. Berdych beat Ginepri.

Upset of the day had to be Sania Mirza and Cara Black, the top seeds, losing 64 63 to Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith of Great Britain. I have never seen either of those two names before.

USD 1,654,295.00 (ATP)
USD 250,000.00 (WTA)
28 JULY – 3 AUGUST 2014

RESULTS – JULY 30, 2014
Singles – Second Round
[1] [WC] T Berdych (CZE) d [Q] R Ginepri (USA) 61 64
[2] M Raonic (CAN) d J Sock (USA) 76(3) 76(3)
[4] K Nishikori (JPN) d S Querrey (USA) 64 57 64
S Johnson (USA) d [5] J Isner (USA) 67(5) 63 76(6)
[6] R Gasquet (FRA) d D Sela (ISR) 63 62
V Estrella Burgos (DOM) d [8] F Lopez (ESP) 76(5) 64
[10] S Giraldo (COL) d B Becker (GER) 62 76(3)
[13] V Pospisil (CAN) d [Q] R Ram (USA) 60 76(8)
D Young (USA) d [17] J Benneteau (FRA) 64 63

Doubles – First Round
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [WC] J Donaldson (USA) / S Kozlov (USA) 75 60
[2] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) 75 76(5)
[4] I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) d R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) 46 76(8) 10-8
[WC] S Johnson (USA) / S Querrey (USA) d E Butorac (USA) / R Klaasen (RSA) 76(3) 76(4)
S Groth (AUS) / L Paes (IND) d J Chardy (FRA) / R Lindstedt (SWE) 61 76(4)
J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU) d J Benneteau (FRA) / M Llodra (FRA) 76(7) 63

Singles – Second Round
B Jovanovski (SRB) d [8] S Cirstea (ROU) 46 75 63
K Mladenovic (FRA) d [Q] T Townsend (USA) 63 64
K Nara (JPN) d Z Diyas (KAZ) 36 62 40 Retired
M Erakovic (NZL) d [WC] S Rogers (USA) 62 62

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  • Dan Markowitz · July 31, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Great report, Scoop. You didn’t recognize Jeremy Chardy as Lindstedt’s partner? Watched some Berdych v Ginepri tonight and the Czech is going to be very hard to beat. What easy power he generates.

    Paes is a wonder. What a showman he is. Who were you more impressed with, Kozlov or Donaldson?

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 31, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Dan I went blank when wiring the article, mind cramp, yes it was Chardy, who double faulted to Groth on ad side on game point in the first game of the match. Also forgot to mention on the first point of the tiebreak a black woman linesperson called Lindstedt for a foot fault, then he ended up losing that first point for the early mini break, Lindstedt was not happy at all and playing the right court he spit in the direction of the woman who was at the right baseline. Surprised he didn’t get a warning. Also, Soares and Peya watched most of this match behind the fence, just hanging out like fans. Another point, the outer courts were packed at night, every court had a great crowd. This tourney draws very well.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 31, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Kozlov was more impressive. Made more big shots, he was the team leader, more amped up, Donaldson was kind of the second banana and he missed a few too many shots. Kozlov was the anchor no doubt about that. Kozlov made many shots which wowed the crowd where he kind of strutted around after, Donaldson didn’t really make any memorable shots.

  • Dan Markowitz · July 31, 2014 at 9:19 am

    How come Kozlov is the guy who went final round of qualis last year at the Open then?

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 31, 2014 at 9:33 am

    You mean Donaldson went to final match US Open qualies last year. He’s good too. He pushed RRAm to the limits in the first round. He’s very good. But Kozlov was the better player last night. Though Kozlov is sixteen to JD’s seventeen, Kozlov was the alpha male and commanding general of the team. He played better and looked more comfortable in the situation. He evoked the louder cheers, ooohhhs, and roars from the crowd.

  • Andrew Miller · July 31, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Stevejo d karlo vic. Dy d. Istomin.

  • Bryan · August 4, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    “Sock likes to chat with fans behind the baseline sometimes. He’s a fun loving guy, who is letting his personality show. Sock has a lot of flare and talent and also charisma.”

    Well said. If Sock somehow becomes a top 10 player one day I think he’ll be more popular than Isner, who for some reason US fans aren’t enthralled by. People respond to athletes with personalities like Sock.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 5, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Sock is a showman, or a budding one. He also hit a couple of jumping forehand smash winners – during matches in DC and ATL – I have never seen any pro player ever hit that shot before, in a live match. It’s a shot where the crowd goes Whoooooooo. Not even Nadal with his huge fh has hit that. Awesome shot.



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