Nov/17

5

Was this the long-awaited singles breakout by Sock?

sock

By Scoop Malinowski

For years now Jack Sock has thrilled tennis observers with his firepower, potential and special capacity to play his best tennis in some of the biggest events like Wimbledon, US Open and the Olympics.

Sock’s signature performances all were achieved in the doubles arena – but that all changed today when Sock won the prestigious Paris Indoors Masters 1000 title 67 64 61 vs Filip Krajinovic.

Suddenly Sock has vaulted up the rankings from 22 all the way to 8, and into the ATP World Tour Finals next week in London.

Sock winning a Masters 1000 title is a monumental achievement. Keep in mind Yevgeny Kafelnikov, winner of two majors, an Olypmic singles gold medal and Davis Cup, never won a Masters Series title in his illustrious career.

It took a long while but finally the 25-year-old Sock appears to have matured, developed and figured out the ATP World Tour puzzle pieces and how they fit together to capture significant singles titles.

The big forehand, serve, variety, drop shots, backhand slices, net rushes and point construction are all working in unison and when they are Sock has the arsenal to slay dragons, any dragons out there.

There has been major hints in recent months of a balance of power shift in the ATP, with the elite pantheon aging and showing signs of decline – and plenty of younger, heavily armed revolutionaries ready to seize power in the ATP top ten.

Sock is in prime position to continue a massive assault and charge up the rankings to the top five in 2018 – or perhaps even next week in London if he can string together a few wins which would vault him further up the rankings above and beyond 8.

There has been a lot of doubts, a lot of criticism and skepticism about Sock’s potential as a singles player but all of that cynicism has been completely silenced today.

Winning his first Grand Slam singles title in 2018 just became a very achievable goal for Sock and you better believe every man in the ATP top hundred now views Sock as a serious Grand Slam singles title contender.

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121 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 10, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Camesetandmatch; We all know true love is not easy to find and to promiscuously pick up easy girls week in and week out will not have a very beneficial impact on court performance. But feel free to prove to us your theory works :) If Safin would have won that Aus Open with his box of four or five girlfriends, you may have a point.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 10, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Speak for yourself Joe! :)

  • Duke Carnoustie · November 12, 2017 at 11:26 am

    How about the season of David Goffin? To come back on that injury and get to London is quite an achievement. Then he knocked out Kyrgios in Davis Cup too. He just drilled Sock in Basel before Fed vaporized him.

    Goffin clearly has Grand Slam potential. Wouldn’t surprise me if he beats Nadal.

  • Matty · November 13, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    I wonder if Berger’s still wearing that bulky knee brace he got off of EBay in the 70’s. Or perhaps has he actually learned how to serve. Either way, his hanging around Sock has had added benefits like eating healthier thanks to the trail mixes the Sock family brings to Jack’s matches. And perhaps Berger’s improved coaching came from playing in the family doubles game with brother Eric, and in some way helped him turn into an uber coach a la Tiriac. We know the USTA didn’t have anything to do with it since they would never meddle in a player’s coaching decisions/choices. Perhaps Berger is simply riding high on a proud streak that began with his saving 15% on his car insurance.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 14, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Matty; How did Berger manage to save 15% on his car insurance? :)

  • herios · November 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Time for me to give my two cents here.
    Sock will never be an elite player, but probably he will be the best the American tennis produced since Andy Roddick.
    After Roddick only two players reached top 10, John Isner and Mardy Fish.
    He will achieve more than them surely. Now the only question is how much he will still improve, because there is still room to grow, if he will be serious about it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 16, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Memo to Herios: Sock is in the semis of the ATP World Tour Finals. He's officially an elite player now.

  • herios · November 16, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    I went by El Dude version of "elite" aka multiple slam winners.
    Based on that for now he does not meet that criteria.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 17, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Multiple slams in doubles and Olympic gold and silver and now top ten in singles = Elite Player in my book.

  • isabelle · November 17, 2017 at 8:47 am

    he beat Sasha, an elite player

  • DarthFed · November 17, 2017 at 9:49 am

    herios said:

    Time for me to give my two cents here.
    Sock will never be an elite player, but probably he will be the best the American tennis produced since Andy Roddick.
    After Roddick only two players reached top 10, John Isner and Mardy Fish.
    He will achieve more than them surely. Now the only question is how much he will still improve, because there is still room to grow, if he will be serious about it.Click to expand…

    Completely agree with this. I like Sock but I too see limited upside mostly due to his movement and backhand. That being said, Sock's shown he can be dangerous, he is still young and given this run at the end of the year he will enter 2018 with a lot of confidence. If his backhand does seriously improve to the point it's not a weakness he could make a lot more noise but I just don't see him becoming an elite player either.

  • DarthFed · November 17, 2017 at 9:51 am

    isabelle said:

    he beat Sasha, an elite playerClick to expand…

    That's one match. Also rankings be damned this year, Sascha is not an elite player yet by any stretch. His best result at a slam was the 4th round.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 17, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    I can hear it now. Sock will win a major next year and you whiners will discredit it because of a soft draw or a lucky occurrence or some bulljive. Masters 1000 title. World Tour Finals semis…you know what's next.

  • DarthFed · November 17, 2017 at 11:08 am

    scoop said:

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    I can hear it now. Sock will win a major next year and you whiners will discredit it because of a soft draw or a lucky occurrence or some bulljive. Masters 1000 title. World Tour Finals semis…you know what's next.Click to expand…

    I will gladly make a friendly bet that Sock will finish next year out of the top 10 and with no slams or MS titles. Ok?

  • GameSetAndMath · November 17, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I can say, I am willing to bet my house etc. But, it may be difficult to enforce in reality. To make sure it is not an empty talk, I am willing to make a concrete bet of $1000 that Sock will not win a GS next year. Are you ready to take it up? I promise, I will not cry foul over weak field etc. I don't care how weak the field is. Sock will not win a GS next year.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 17, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    I'd like to see what those odds are on Sock winning a major next year.

  • DarthFed · November 17, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    I doubt Vegas or anywhere else makes odds on whether a lesser known player will win a major in the upcoming year. But what would you place those odds at? If you'd give him more than 1/15 chance to win a major next year you are dreaming.

  • El Dude · November 17, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Here's a question: Who is more likely to win a GS next year: Sock, Dimitrov, or Thiem? I'm going with Grigor.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 18, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Ed Dude; I think your question actually may be answered today, whoever wins Sock vs Dimitrov. BTW Sock is 3-1 vs Sup G and has won the last three in a row. Thiem has seemed to stagnate in recent months and lost some of his aura. Like Raonic, Nishikori, he's hit a wall.

  • Front242 · November 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Strikes me as one of those polls where the option none isn't available :p

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 18, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Goffin should be included in this poll. I had an interesting debate today with my hitting partner Harry Cicma who played two ATP tourneys, and he took exception to my comment that Goffin could win the title and win a major next year. For some reason he thinks Goffin can do no better than he already has, QF or SF of a major and that's his ceiling. I responded that Goffin's limit is unknown, us mere mortals can't predict what his ceiling / limit is. He is one of those miraculous undersized players that can create magic and he can continue to improve and even win a major. Mere mortals can't write off Goffin as a major QF or SFist. It doesn't matter what we believe or mere mortals believe, what matters is what Goffin believes. Goffin said he had no idea what to do vs Fed yesterday as he was 0-6 vs Fed and lost to Fed in Basel two weeks ago 61 62. So even when Goffin has no basis to believe he can beat Fed he beat Fed. So can Goffin win a major? YES.

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