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Sock vs Boyer At Sarasota Open

By Scoop Malinowski

Jack Sock was desperate to save his flagging career with a positive run at the Elizabeth Moore Sarasota Open and in his rain delayed first round clash he would have what appeared to be a very suitable opponent in young and unknown Tristan Boyer.

Sock and Boyer were scheduled for first match on Stadium Nick Bollettieri court today and then the winner would have to play third match on vs. defending Sarasota Open champion Daniel Elahi Galan of Columbia.

The story I heard was that Sock made a complaint, BEFORE his match with the unknown, unheralded and low ranked 1497th in the world Boyer, that he would need more rest time before playing the round of 16 vs Galan. In other words, Sock assumed the duel with Boyer was already in the bag as an automatic win.

However, things didn’t go as planned for Sock today. Though he built a set and a break lead over Boyer at 63 42, he was not able to complete the victory as he had expected.

Boyer suddenly raised his game – like he did in the second round of qualies vs former top 10 star Lucas Pouille, on the comeback trail after elbow issues. In that huge upset win by the 21 year old from Pasadena, CA Boyer – a 75 46 63 triumph – the gallery saw a very explosive and technical player who refused to falter in the moment of truth vs the veteran French player who has won five ATP singles titles. It was actually Pouille who buckled at the end, not Boyer.

Once again today it was Boyer who was stronger, tougher and cooler when it mattered most. Boyer held for 34 and then Sock made an error and a couple of double faults and suddenly it was 44.

Sock couldn’t believe it, feigning his casual smile and head shakes as if in shock that this was happening. He clearly underestimated Boyer and likely did not bother to watch the ATP site video of the Pouille match.

It was Boyer’s weapons that appeared to be more formidable than Sock despite the severe disadvantage and lack of experience. Typically in these situations, the younger, low ranked guy like Boyer usually falls apart and gives it away at the end after a valiant fight. But Boyer is different and Sock now knows this.

A couple of times in the second half of the third set Sock ripped an inside out forehand return from the ad court, to Boyer’s backhand corner, which Sock then hit another inside in forehand to Boyer’s forehand. And twice Boyer roped big forehands cross court that Sock failed to return.

Boyer lost his break edge in the third but in the tiebreaker he prevailed by a comfortable 73. Sock absorbed the shocking and devastating loss with no emotion. From here, Sock’s tennis future is unknown. He won’t get any wildcards for any ATP tournaments and he’ll have to stay in Challenger until Roland Garros qualies. Sock is scheduled to make his PPA pro pickleball tour debut in early April in Charlotte.

After this loss today by 30 year old Sock to a player ranked 1497 and the February Delray Beach loss to Matija Pecotic, who was ranked 700 something, it appears Sock may be at the end of his singles career. Even with the help of dozens of wildcards since 2019, he just can’t win matches anymore to get his ranking back to the top 100 – he’s ranked 166 now.

Boyer was clearly fatigued after the best win of his life vs. Sock and sputtered to a 46 03 retired due to cramps loss to Galan. It was impossible for the 21 year old to try to win two matches in one day in 85 degree heat and sunshine. But for sure you will need to keep an eye on Tristan Boyer, who shocked not one but two very well respected ATP veteran champions this week in Jack Sock and Lucas Pouille.

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  • Cory · April 14, 2023 at 7:17 am

    As much as we’ve all hammered Sock, the fact is that his ranking is (at the moment) reasonable enough where he’s what 2 Challenger titles away from the top 100 and then only a stone’s throw away from the top 50-80 from there. Not easy of course, but he’s not buried at 600 like a D Young. Sock is only 30, has way more assets than Young, just as an e.g. However a few more months of stagnancy will probably drop it a few hundred quickly and they’ll both be pickleballing.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 14, 2023 at 7:39 am

    Cory, Yes Sock is only 30 and some players like Victor Estrella play their best tennis at 33, 34. Sock is more fit now than he ever was. He still wants it but it’s not translating to victories. And that’s the troublesome part. Sock knows he worked super hard since December and had high hopes for 2023 (I saw him say this in a pickleball podcast) but he has nothing to show for it but a bunch of first round losses to no names and journeymen. He gave Fritz a good battle in Dallas but lost two close sets. He didn’t bring his wife to Sarasota, it was just him so he was focused and not distracted. Still he lost to a guy ranked 1497. We’ll see how much longer Sock can keep suffering these heartbreaking losses, or will he just pack it in and go enjoy pickleball?



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