Feb/20

14

Sock, Harrison Nakashima Get Delray Beach Wildcards

JACK SOCK, RYAN HARRISON AND BRANDON NAKASHIMA ACCEPT MAIN DRAW SINGLES WILDCARDS AT2020 DELRAY BEACH OPEN BY VITACOST.COM
FEBRUARY 14, 2020, DELRAY BEACH, FL – Today, the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com (https://yellowtennisball.com/) announced that a trio of Americans including Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison and Brandon Nakashima have accepted main draw singles wildcards at this year’s event.
Sock, now 27-years-old, was the 2017 singles champion and 2018 doubles champion (with Jackson Withrow) and is making his eighth appearance in Delray Beach. In addition to his 2017 singles win in Delray, Sock has won three other titles including the Paris 1000 Masters which catapulted his ranking to a career-high of No. 8. and qualified him for the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals where he was the first American semifinalist since Andy Roddick in 2007.
“Jack has been a household tennis name in Delray Beach since he was 12,” said Mark Baron, Tournament Director. “He’s won every junior national championship we’ve hosted, in both singles and doubles, plus singles and doubles here at the ATP Tour level. I know this is a comfortable place for him and I’m looking forward to seeing a strong Sock show.”
Following his 2017 run, Sock won Wimbledon, the US Open and the Nitto ATP Finals in doubles with Mike Bryan in addition to 11 other doubles including Wimbledon in 2014 with Vasek Pospisil. He is one of two active players to compete at the ATP Finals in both singles and doubles and the only men’s or women’s tennis player to earn multiple medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics including winning gold in mixed doubles (with Mattek-Sands) and bronze in doubles (with Steve Johnson).
Harrison, also 27-years-old, achieved a career-high ranking of No. 40 in July of 2017 and was the singles champion in Memphis in 2017 and the finalist at Atlanta (2017 and 2018) and Brisbane (2018). 


Nakashima, an 18-year-old San Diego native playing in his first ATP singles main draw, was ranked No. 3 in the ITF junior singles rankings in 2018. Nakashima won two ITF singles titles during his junior career including the ITF Junior Masters where he defeated world No. 1 ranked Jung Tseng Chun-hsin in the final.


The 10-day tournament will open Valentine’s Day weekend with the ATP Champions Tour team event and a special exhibition match starring teen tennis star Coco Gauff playing the first-ever women’s match in tournament history. The ATP Champions Team Europe vs Team World match-up will showcase tennis legends David Ferrer, James Blake, Tommy Haas, Marcos Baghdatis and other fan-favorites.


On President’s Day Monday, Feb. 17, the game’s reigning stars take center court commencing the ATP 250 matches. Fans can book now for the tournament’s “Super Tuesday” (Feb. 18) featuring Nick KyrgiosMilos Raonic and rising young America Reilly Opelka while the winningest team of all-time Bob and Mike Bryan (bolded) begin their final Tour appearance in Delray Beach on Wednesday night, Feb. 19.


Individual tickets for all sessions are on sale now and start as low as $30. See the full lineup of offers, parties, special events, food and beverage options and more at YellowTennisBall.com or call 561-330-6000.

19 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 14, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Harrison and Sock are veryvery lucky to get these wildcards over more deserving players like Cressy, Blanch, Korda, Kozlov, Mmoh, Wolf.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 14, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Kozlov, Gulbis, Rubin in Delray qualies.

  • Jeff · February 14, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    There is a rationale for a place like Delray to give him a wild card. They want to stay in his good graces in case he makes his way back to the top 20 or something. So I don’t have a big problem with this.

    The issue is that Sock needs matches so if I was advising him, he should have asked for a wild card into qualifying. I doubt he will beat Albot if he couldn’t beat Giron last week. The qualies were a better option.

    The Harrison wild card is still puzzling but Ryan strikes me as a guy similar to Gimelstob who has nothing else going for him except tennis so he may become a tournament manager or media personality in the future and it makes sense for his profile to play in the main draw. And I have more faith in him beating Dzumhur than Sock winning a match.

    How about Kyrgios facing Tommy Paul in round one? What a matchup. As well as Sandgren vs. Tiafoe. Foe is 5-0 against the Sandman including Challengers.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 15, 2020 at 8:30 am

    will be Jack Sock’s 56th career singles wildcard (35th tour level) and Ryan Harrison’s 67th career singles wildcard (45th tour level). Donald Young 30 WCs all in America.

  • Hartt · February 15, 2020 at 8:36 am

    That is quite the stat regarding WCs. You have to wonder if these players would have had better carrers without the crutch of so many WCs.

    Delray looks a lot more interesting than I would have expected.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 15, 2020 at 8:57 am

    Delray Beach is always a really good tournament Hartt, always get a good mix of players and some big names. Sock will have his hands full with the defending champion Albot. This may be the last WC Sock ever gets, if he loses to Albot, Indian Wells and Miami would be crazy to give him another over deserving guys like Kwiatkowski, Escobedo, Cressy, Klahn, Eubanks, Mmoh.

  • Hartt · February 15, 2020 at 9:19 am

    I can understand Sock getting a WC for Delray Beach, given his history with the tourney. But no way should he get one anywhere else!

    I can’t see ATP 250 tourneys, unless I fork out yet more $, but will be rooting for Milos.

  • jg · February 15, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    How about Haas Spadea tonight after Coco and Jesse Levine, the tennis prose all stars are out in force, throw in some Gulbis as well.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 16, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    No way, Spadea played Haas. Was that last night or tonight? Haas has been playing very well. He went undefeated on the senior tour last year toying with guys like Roddick and Blake.

    How did Vince do?

    Went to see Sock play doubles yesterday at New York Open. He did look fitter from when I saw him play at USO last year. He is a remarkable doubles player, but he and Nick Monroe lost in a 3rd set Super Breaker to the Paki wonder, Aisam Quereshi and Domenic Inglot, the Brit. Sock failed to dominate the match as I thought he would, but he looked loose and was having a good time playing with Monroe. I think he’s coached by Alex Bogomolov Jr. now because Alex was courtside, but maybe not because he was with his family.

    The NY Open better get some big sponsors, all of their sponsors were local except Dunlop which was selling racquets. The place had a decent size crowd yesterday, Saturday, but little to no energy. It doesn’t help that you have a finals of Edmund v Seppi. Maybe there’d be more support if Sandgren played Opelka in the finals.

    But Opelka is a weird-looking dude. I haven’t heard him speak much, but the way he looks and acts on the court, I don’t know if he’ll ever be a real crowd favorite.

  • jg · February 16, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Looks like Haas won 75 60, Haas and Spadea are teaming in doubles today, Jesse Levine beat Haas, I saw a picture of Levine he looks fit, could probably take out most challenger players today.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 16, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Levine was 0-4 career vs Haas before this win. Levine was also 1-0 vs Safin, beat Safin in 4 at Wimbledon. Levine had some good wins, good crafty lefty.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 16, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    “Nobody loves Goliath”, is a famous quotation. And Opelka has a countenance on court of a Goliath. He definitely needs to work on his on court character and connecting with fans. Isner does not do a good job of that either, remember US Open stadium rooted for Monfils over him and it really annoyed him. Dr Ivo strangely does have a good rapport with fans, why I’m not sure but he does have a fan base. Isner – I know of exactly two Isner fans.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 16, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Firstly, Levine is still 0-4 against Haas. You don’t pick up a win in a Seniors match. Secondly, Levine was basically a Challenger player.So to say he’d be able to beat Challenger players today is pretty far-fetched. Thirdly, Izzie was last seen In Auckland going up to a boy he hit with a serve and inquiring how he was and offered to give him some tennis swag.

    Fourthly, Izzie comes across as a wholesome young man while Opelka comes across as a guy you wouldn’t want to come across in a dark alley. Now both Izzie and Opelka are pretty bland on the court. There’s not a lot of energy being emitted by either. I think Scoop said it recently and its true, if DeMinaur was an American he’d be the next Jimmy Connors. None of these young Americans with the exception of Tiafoe so much as even smiles on the court. One of my son’s practice partners, older and bigger, practiced recently with Noah Rubin and I asked him if Rubin was talkative and he said no, he barely said a word.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 16, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Rubin talked a lot when we did a Biofile and it was one of the best Biofiles. Sometimes pros don’t talk to juniors, Tiafoe said he hit with Nadal when he was a junior at Roland Garros and Nadal didn’t talk or smile. Probably was tunnel visioned on the final. Isner is a solid interview always, always nice but fans don’t adore him. He does not interact with fans in the heat of battle. But he thrived off the college tennis energy. If he could summon that crowd energy in his favor like he had in college, he’d probably be top 5 and done better in majors.

  • Andrew Miller · February 16, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    So true, Sock belongs in Delray qualies (at best). As is the standard tournaments can hand out wildcards to whoever they want (within some band of plausibility).

    If I were Sock I’d save face and play doubles only in Delray and play more regular challenger events, take the occasional wildcard into the qualies draws for smaller tournaments. Play his way in.

    I’d guess (I don’t know) a few things are going on. One is (maybe?) cash flow – he’d get more money for a first round loss than if he exits qualies. The other, stubborn nature and pride – I’d think he admits to himself what level he is, but Sock isn’t a guy that improved his weakest areas, so he may not be open to that level of reckoning. Or he just believes he belongs and that’s that, that it is only a matter of time.

    I wouldn’t know what’s in Sock’s head.

  • Andrew Miller · February 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Isner did well – passed Fish, Blake, Ginepri in the achievements column among U.S. men’s players. Probably the second best player from the U.S. since Roddick. Unless Querrey makes a mad dash to a slam final or another slam semifinal (low probability) the Isner legacy is “safe” as the second best U.S. men’s player since Agassi’s retirement fourteen years ago. Unfortunately I don’t think Isner inspired many people to take up the game, or whether he was an inspiration to juniors. He will be known as a guy when asked, so does it inspire you that U.S. men’s players are doing better? will say:

    “I’m just here for myself.”

    The post-Isner group is floundering a bit. I do like what I see from Seb Korda and Naskashima. I don’t think the Nakashima hype is justified, but if he were to do something drastic like hire BG then I think we’re looking at the best U.S. men’s player. If not, in Tommy Paul we trust (he will make good on his potential and make the second week of a slam someday).

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 16, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Isner is a miracle story. Okay junior, good college career. Then exploded in Wash DC in his first main draw as a WC, winning four 76 in the third breakers in a row to go all the way to the final where he lost to Roddick but he beat Monfils, B Becker and two others I forget. Amazing debut and he proved it was no fluke. A career millions would love to have had. Isner is one of the biggest over achievers in American tennis history.

  • Andrew Miller · February 16, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Isner has fifteen titles, a Masters win in Miami, a pair of slam QF and a slam SF – not bad at all – he is the best U.S. mens player since Roddick left the tour. His career is easily better than James Blake (10 titles, three slam QF), Mardy Fish (6 titles, three slam QF), and of course he has a somewhat more distinguished career than his sidekick Sam Querrey (10 titles, all surfaces; three slam QF and one slam SF). Blake, Fish, Querrey are the other best U.S. men since Roddick’s retirement). Not a bad thing to be among the three best U.S. mens players since Sampras retirement – Agassi, Roddick, Isner.

    It’s too bad have to stretch to make these statements – U.S. men’s tennis isn’t what it used to be! It’s very clear other countries have better pro men’s players.

  • David · February 17, 2020 at 11:17 am

    Isner is a great guy by all accounts. My best friend was friends with a couple sets of parents who had children (girls) who were tennis players, and peers, of John’s in the Triad (High Point, Greensboro, Winston-Salem area) of North Carolina. I was at pre-UNC football tailgate function and this turned out to be one of only two times I ever spoke with them but they knew I had played tennis and chatted me up some. From a decade ago I can only recall tidbits but aside from revealing they (both husbands & wives alike) each thought Ana Ivanovic was like top-model gorgeous (haha, but true, I guess) they also extolled on how wonderful a person John was and how they each had known him as a kid and how well he had treated everyone including their girls (who were then college players and just a couple/few years younger than John). I think even someone who has watched his matches with a cursory glance can tell he is a good guy. However, y’all are right in that he has only occasionally ever used the crowd effectively. He is the proverbial gentle giant. I don’t know if this is accurate, or not, but perhaps there is an inverse relationship to this sort of thing? Likely extrapolating too much, but Connors was one of the biggest jerks around yet he could play and feed off the crowd as well as anyone ever did. I think their style of play is a huge factor, too. No one weeps for Goliath, or some such, plus Isner’s game is not a thing of beauty to my eyes and, likely not to many others, too. Still, a helluva career, still dangerous and one of the few players who, in a sense, simultaneously over AND under achieved.

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