Nov/19

8

Jack Sock Vows: I will be back and better than ever

Jack Sock vowed on Instagram yesterday that he intends to not only regain his top ten form but to be even better.

The currently formerly singles ranked American has made the bold declaration a week after losing all of his ATP singles points because he has not managed to win one singles match all year (not counting the Laver Cup win vs Fognini) due to substandard form and a thumb injury.

It will be a very long and difficult road back for Sock to regain his lost prominence and prestige on the Futures and Challenger circuits but it’s good to see that Sock is pumping himself up to salvage his wrecked career.

If Sock is to reverse his ATP fortunes he will need to employ a different work ethic and seriousness. He will have to change his diet, he will have to train harder on and off the court, he will need to stop playing silly games on practice courts, he will need to abandon goofing around with trick shots.

Sock will need to dismiss his entire team and start over with new faces and new voices, preferably a former player who has endured a similar adversity. One figure that comes to mind is Andre Agassi. Another is Vince Spadea.

A great champion like Jack Sock can never be counted out. He’s just 27, he has the capacity and weaponry to win doubles majors and threaten the top players in singles – if he’s at his best. At his worst he can lose to Sekou Bangoura.

Hopefully Sock is busy backing up his big words as we speak. Hopefully Sock has already trained for a couple of hours this morning. Hopefully he will train for five more hours later today and hit the gym after.

Hopefully he will adopt a Guillermo Vilas type work ethic where he will work for six straight days to fix a weakness, or practice a certain shot for eight hours straight. Or like Lleyton Hewitt, schedule and reserve a practice court (in San Jose) two weeks in advance.

If Sock thinks he can make it back to the top of tennis with the same work ethic he has utilized for the last two years, he may fall woefully short of achieving his latest goal, the bold vow to come roaring back to the ATP top ten and to be even better than he has ever shown.

281 comments

  • Andrew Miller · November 13, 2019 at 10:13 am

    I can always go to alternative tennis media and find shallow reporting and innuendo. Where GEMS life is going next. What so and so photoshoot looks like. That’s not preferable to a lack of reporting.

  • Andrew Miller · November 13, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Massu better yes. Appreciated Canas ability to stick with players and grind that out. Thiem seems to have developed an interest in doing this. Mostly he does it AND hits bigger.

  • Hartt · November 13, 2019 at 10:19 am

    It is unfortunate that there is less tennis coverage and the situation is getting worse.

    Charlie Eccleshare, who did great features on tennis for The Telegraph, is no longer there and is doing general sports reporting at his new gig.

    Scoop, I like Chris Clarey as well, and even subscribed to the NY Times largely to get his articles.

    Canadian coverage has improved dramatically, but it could be better. There was a time when it was difficult to get news about Canadian players, but there are a few sources now that talk about Canadian tennis as well as tennis in general. The Tennis Canada website is just OK, but they have a feature article by Tom Tebbutt each Tuesday, and those are very good.

    The daily newspapers have occasional features, and Stephanie Myles sometimes does articles for them, along with the site she writes for, Tennis.life.

    And there are other sources on the internet, such as Match Point Canada, run by two reporters who are active on twitter and do a weekly podcast for Tennis Canada. A youngish fan has recently established a website purely for Canadian tennis and is also active on twitter, so when I want up to date news on Canadian players I go to Canada’s NextGen Fan Club.

  • catherine · November 13, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Hartt – in Britain most newspapers had specialist tennis reporters but the number of papers shrank and the few now remaining can’t afford to have a journalist just covering one sport. So the tennis people usually only cover the GSs or events in Britain, unless they get freebies, a practice which is frowned upon. I imagine it’s much the same in other countries.

    Simon Briggs eg also does cricket and sometimes football.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 13, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Hartt, I like Clarey too, he does nice work, he’s careful not to rock the boat. I like writers who rock the boat a little now and then. Not many of those out there. Myles is good too, she goes after some off the beaten path topics. But she told me also she wouldn’t touch certain off court stories. But I rate her high up there. She loves the sport and is on the scene constantly. She did take issue with my story on Pierre Duclos. Tignor, Bodo, all super solid. But maybe a bit repetitive. Again, I like to be rocked out of the boat, like to be shocked, like to be astounded by a story or scoop or inside information. Get weary of fluff pieces and the same old angle, working hard, trying to win major, making adjustments to be a more complete player on all surfaces, trying to improve my rankings…. blah blah blah.

  • Hartt · November 13, 2019 at 11:23 am

    There aren’t any reporters for the daily newspapers in Canada who specialize in tennis, but there are a couple who know enough about the sport to write the occasional article or feature. That is a big improvement right there.

  • Hartt · November 13, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Speaking of Tom Tebbutt, he has a lengthy piece about the upcoming Davis Cup finals. As you’d expect, he focuses on the Canadian team, but he describes how the tourney works, which top players are taking part, plus some info about the teams Canada will face.

    Tebbutt also has a brief piece on Jannik Sinner. He is very impressed with the kid.

    http://www.tenniscanada.com/news/tebbutt-a-davis-cup-primer/

  • Hartt · November 13, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Andrew, Sinner also has a decent net game, which is rare for such a young player. I know things, such as injuries, can derail a youngster, but I think there is a real chance he will be a superstar.

  • Hartt · November 13, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Further to Jannik Sinner, he has an excellent coach in Piatti, who helped develop Milos’ game when Raonic was working on his net game, playing on clay, etc.

  • catherine · November 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Scoop – you can’t expect middle-of-the road publications to do the kind of story you like or the reporters will very likely find themselves stripped of their credentials and rocked not just out of the boat but out of their jobs 🙂

    That’s just the way it is. It’s the nature of the sport to favour repetition and to be protective. Too much money at stake.

  • catherine · November 13, 2019 at 12:35 pm

  • Hartt · November 13, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Catherine, thanks for the link. The basic problem of the ATP board remains, an equal number of reps for the players and the tourneys. As long as that is the case, whoever has to cast the deciding vote in ties will be on the hot seat.

    I can’t imagine it will be easy even to find a CEO who is acceptable to both sides.

  • Hartt · November 13, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    What an exciting match between Nadal and Medvedev! Rafa was down by 2 breaks in the decider. Daniil started to choke and Rafa raised his level, so they got to a TB, which Rafa won. For much of the match the players had the same number of points, and Rafa won it by 3 points in the end.

    I was chatting online with some Rafans during the match, and they had given up after Daniil got that 2nd break. They were in total disbelief when Rafa pulled it off, especially on an indoor hard court. The fans in the stadium were beyond excited. Rafa, once again, showed his unbelievable fighting spirit.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 13, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    I know that Catherine and I think it stifles the content the media produces and it censors freedom of the press. Most people are tired of newspapers as they are going out of business. I also like Simon Briggs, he gets in there and delivers some good stories. Ubi gets in there and is not afraid to stick his nose into player’s personal lives. As he learned from being scolded by Nadal this week. )

  • Harold · November 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Andrew gets more questions into Wertheim’s mailbag than anybody else.

    Ben Rothenberg in The NY Times is horrible. His whole pls form is to shorten matches.. TV people too are looking to do the same. The Next Gen scoring is horrible, because it gives those people the platform to tell how exciting 5 sets of 4 games, and no Ad scoring

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 13, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    If that’s his platform, to shorten matches, maybe he should switch over to covering horse racing. Those who want to shorten matches may be losing their love for the sport and would probably rather be somewhere else.

  • catherine · November 13, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Muguruza climbing Kiliminjaro, Sharapova gorilla trekking in Rwanda, CSN in Uganda – Africa on the map for the off season.

    Rwanda has quite a few sports programs – football, even some cricket, encouraged in recent years as part of reconciliation efforts and there is some tennis too – I’m sure visiting pros would be very welcome.

  • Hartt · November 13, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Tennis.life has a report on Bianca. This explains why Bianca has been in Europe.

    “After her withdrawal from the WTA Tour Finals because of a knee injury, US Open champion Bianca Andreescu is in Europe consulting some specialists. “She had some tests, and she’s currently in Europe to meet specialists and get different opinions. She’ll see someone on Monday, and then we’ll review it,” coach Sylvain Bruneau during a conference call to talk about receiving a major coaching award in Canada. “There isn’t unanimous opinion on the next steps. However, what we do know is that it’s not anything ultra-serious. But there will be some small decisions to be made. “

  • catherine · November 13, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    It all sounds a bit muddled to me. Aren’t there any specialists for this kind of injury in Canada ?

    I admit I feel a little anxious about Bianca’s future.

  • Hartt · November 13, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Re Bianca, maybe not the variety of specialists they are talking to.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 13, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Kozlov beats top seed Kudla in Champaign, Kudla lost last week also to Roy Smith. Big win for Kozlov.

  • Andrew Miller · November 13, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Haha Harold yeah, I send a bunch in to Wertheim. His mailbag is a great feature for tennis. I got one in when Seles was a guest blogger, I was excited!!!

  • Andrew Miller · November 13, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Nice Kozlov win on Kudla. Kudla had a nice career resurgence over the last year plus and just went triple digits in the rankings again. His fall hasn’t been as bad as Harrison, DY, and he’s gotten away (thankfully) from his “grass is my best surface” attitude.

    Nice work from the Koz. He should feel good about this. Kudla is solid.

  • Andrew Miller · November 13, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Nadal definitely living rent free in Medvedev’s head!

  • catherine · November 14, 2019 at 1:35 am

    Tsisipas wipes out Zverev SS in London. I’m not sure what this means. You can get some odd results in the ATP finals.

    On another topic – Muguruza and her climbing team reach the summit of Kiliminjaro and whatever you think of Garbine on court I admire her enterprise in tackling something different from the usual off season activities and succeeding in it. Sponsored by adidas so everyone wins.

    And Sharapova winds up her state visit to Rwanda by meeting the president and spreading goodwill. Maria is possibly planning activities after her retirement which will be at the end of 2020.

  • Dan Markowitz · November 14, 2019 at 3:35 am

    In the spirit of Harold always suggesting we make too much of Challenger wins here at T-P, The Koz with his win over The Kudla will now skyrocket within six months into the Top 20. Go Koz. He’s got to win the Champaign Challenger first.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 14, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Hearing good things out Kozlov camp. Salzenstein part of it. Dad back in helping. Happy to be unentangled from usta after 3 years. Belief back. Kudla was best win on 19 besides money tournament win vs Querrey. Evan song next.

  • Dan Markowitz · November 14, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Yeah, good win, but Kudla has not been same player. For instance, he lost last week to Roy Smith who rarely wins Challenger matches. The Koz is making inroads, but still no. 437.

  • Jon King · November 14, 2019 at 11:04 am

    We have followed Kozlov since juniors. What a nice kid. Only player at the Orange Bowl who would go out of his way to chat up the younger players who were spectating. Saw his dad a few years ago at a local tournament coaching a young girl.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 14, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Jon, Yes he’s as nice as they come, quality person. His dad is a great guy too, lots of fun to spend time with at the tournaments, he has some good juniors at his academy in Pembroke and is a regular at Herr.

  • catherine · November 14, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Thiem falls to Berrettini in SS – I wonder if Kiki and Tomljanovic were in their respective boxes ? Dominic left it all on the court v Dokovic.

  • Hartt · November 14, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Catherine, they showed Ajla at Berrettini’s match, but the last photo I saw of Kiki was with the Fed Cup team in Paris. Benneteau, after breaking his leg while celebrating, is sitting down.

  • catherine · November 14, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Thiem admits he didn’t try too hard today because he didn’t want to tire himself out in a meaningless match. That wouldn’t even qualify for a Scoop ‘subconcious’ tank. Domi should have kept his mouth shut.

    (One reason I don’t like round-robin type formats. I know why it’s done but sometimes the crowd gets short-changed.)

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 14, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    Jack Kramer coined the term “subconscious tank.” Don’t give me the credit for Jack Kramer’s theory )

  • catherine · November 14, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Scoop- I know it was Kramer – it’s just a term you often use, and in this case Thiem was quite open about his approach to the match.

  • Hartt · November 14, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Also, Dominic may not be feeling well. Someone posted that he was coughing a lot during his practice session. The last thing he needs is to be ill again.

  • Andrew Miller · November 14, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Classless from Thiem. First of all it’s ATP finals. Second that’s classless and Berretini may even feel cheated after his win on the Dominator. Third, classless. Why would he say that?

    I don’t like the Round Robin format either. They tried it some time ago in Delray and then dropped it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 14, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    The Round Robin was also tried in Las Vegas, it had two trials before being abandoned. It’s terrible to see a dead meaningless match. Should not happen.

  • Hartt · November 14, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Wow, Fed had a surprisingly straightforward win over Novak in SS. He was great, and had 23 winners to 5 UFEs!

    Fed fans were thrilled, but so were Rafans, because this means Rafa is year end No.1.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 14, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    I only saw the end of the match, Djokovic had no emotion or fire. Maybe Fed was just too good? Maybe the court was perfect for Roger. Maybe…no I won’t say.

  • Hartt · November 14, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Fed was simply fabulous in this match. He served extremely well and that set the tone for the rest of his play.

    There are many Fed fans and Rafans at Match Call Migrants and they are still celebrating. One lucky guy was there in person. The gif of Rafa leaping into Roger’s arms from last year’s Laver Cup is getting lots of play. 🙂

  • jg · November 14, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Did anyone watch JJ Wolfe play today, the guy looks like a running back or linebacker from Ohio State ( where he went) he’s slowly moving up the rankings and looks much improved from US Open qualifying, wouldn’t be surprised if he has a Steve Johnson run up.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 14, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Was Djokovic all in in the match? The end he looked hollow. It’s easy for Fed to look great if the opponent isn’t really going 100%. Maybe he was demoralized? Fed looked fabulous at Wimbledon too despite losing the final. It was incredible display by Federer then and today. Just because he lost doesn’t mean it was not a fabulous performance.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 14, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Wolfe looks stout and solid, like a tank. Like a MLB catcher or a NFL middle linebacker.

  • Andrew James Miller · November 14, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    JG – did you get to the Citi Open this year?

  • Andrew Miller · November 14, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Thiem..tsk tsk. Berretini played well. And first Italian to get a match win at ATP finals. Nice way to cap the year.

    Federer, had to play unbelievably well to best Djokovic. Was a bit like a Davis Cup atmosphere for Federer, on a very fast court. No need to cry for Djokovic, that level of play was very hard to pull off even for Federer.

    What was impressive and why this is not likely to be seen too often is that Federer needed to gamble where Djokovic would move. If you want to hit behind a player usually they commit and that allows you to place the ball behind you. Given the speed of play Federer’s ability to do this even as Djokovic hadn’t quite committed was special stuff.

    Hard to execute. And good for Federer much as he did in Wimbledon final to commit to his shots. Kept his head down?

  • Andrew Miller · November 14, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Don’t think the ATP put its best announcing team on the finals. The remarks off the highlights are pretty mediocre.

  • catherine · November 15, 2019 at 1:10 am

    Every year the ATP Finals put the WTA effort in the shade – and this year is no exception. Hidden away in China, tired and wrecked players, deadly slow courts, grossly inflated prizemoney (so they have something to boast about)- I could go on. Particularly the slow courts – they are killing the women’s game. Lots of complaints about them but the WTA takes no notice because their coffers are overflowing with Chinese largesse – and how long will that continue ?

    It’s embarrassing.

    Now Cocomania is winding up again. Please.

  • catherine · November 15, 2019 at 1:28 am

    According to the always-reliable T-Tonic Kiki will not be in London to support Domi. Have they broken up ? No – apparently Kristina is still celebrating the Fed Cup win – or suffering an extended hangover. But I expect Kiki will hop on a plane or catch the Eurostar in time to be in Dominic’s box.

  • Jon King · November 15, 2019 at 2:39 am

    catherine, we see the divergence from the men and women’s game at a young age. The slow courts and silly Chinese money really amplify and expose it though.

    When boys and girls are trained together at a young age, its amazing how they play pretty much the same. The girls try attacking the net, angles, various spins. Both boys and girls want to play an exciting and versatile game.

    But for various reasons the girls feel pressure to win early, win a lot, travel a lot, be the ‘it’ girl in juniors. They stop developing their games and get stagnant. The head of girl’s player development for the USTA told us in not uncertain terms. “girls are what they are by age 14, where the boys keep adding to their games”.

    Its pretty darn boring to go to even a top level girl’s junior tournament and see 15 courts of girl’s all playing the same style, back up, never go to the net, only topspin, hit to the middle 2/3rds of the court, rarely change ball direction, mediocre serves and returns, yawn.

    It transfers to the pros since the pool is pretty much only the top juniors. Add in slow courts, super tacky Chinese events, everyone posting bikini photos to instagram thinking they are a super model…and it makes for a pretty ridiculous scene.

    And yeah, Cocomania is returning soon enough. Sorry, but she is just another boring style player to me, she just happens to be able to do it a few years younger than others since she was physically mature by age 12.5. But she does not have one shot that jumps out and says, “wow”. But I guess the WTA needs it to manufacture excitement.

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