Feb/20

18

Sock Rises From The Ashes In Delray

You can’t imagine the pressure Jack Sock was under today. Winless in singles since late 2018. Zero ATP points. Had the game passed him by? Had he lost the winning touch? Has his fiancee Laura Little been a career curse in disguise?

Sock defeated defending Delray champion Radu Albot 36 64 76 in a dramatic duel in a packed stadium that included Sock managing to save a match point on a second serve, with a penetrating inside out forehand that provoked a weak lob for a slam.

Sock’s new coach Alex Bogomolov knows about rising from ground zero. Former ATP pro Bogie quit playing for over a year, was teaching tennis in NJ then decided to mount a comeback and even achieved his career best ranking in the top 45.

Bogomolov subsequently ended up in Charlotte where he runs an academy. Sock moved to Charlotte last year to be with his fiancee and then connected with Bogie five weeks ago.

Bogomolov was an animated presence in the front row, exhorting and cheering Jack on, constantly rising from his seat applauding his man’s effort. Little also was fully engaged, often jumping straight up in the air with an arm raised, earnestly trying to give her future husband as much spirited positive energy as possible. In tennis, as we know, the determination of victory can derive from the most unlikely spark. Ask Lloyd Carroll and Mardy Fish.

Sock responded and produced one of the most special wins of his life. After the win Sock fell to his knees in humbled awe and gratitude for the feeling of victory he last felt in November 2018.

Sock said after he was at “rock bottom” and he came close to quitting playing. The large crowd which had come to see Nick Kyrgios also played a factor in the win as did the support from Bogie and Little. Sock noted it was the first win together with Little.

Now Sock will play his Olympic gold medal doubles partner Steve Johnson in the second round of 16. And that will surely be drama filled as Sock and Johnson have been singles rivals over the years, sharing many hard fought battles in their ATP head to head record.

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8 comments

  • Dan Markowitz · February 19, 2020 at 1:48 am

    Good emotional win for Sock that didn’t look remotely possible after the first set. For a great doubles player, Sock misses way too many returns. His vaunted forehand also lands short a lot. Look he’s a good talent who moves very well for a big man. But the man has boobs and much too big of a gut to gdd Ed t back to the top of the game. Fitness more than anything is what Sock needs to work on. He also has to stop looking in the stands and commenting to his coach and fiancee. Sock is a fun player to watch because of his constant patter and gesticulating, but all this extracurricular stuff can not be helpful to his game in the long run. Going from 970 to respectability is going to be really tough.

  • Jon King · February 19, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Sock has always been a talent and can still win some matches. But he is still out of shape and has little intensity. Not really fun to watch him play to be honest. I highly doubt his career will be reborn. More likely, the next rough patch he fades away once again and emerges with his massive beer belly back.

  • Harold · February 19, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    Sock is no longer the best player in the world without an ATP point. Wild cards for IW and Miami

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 19, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    The win last night should earn sock WCs into Miami and iw. Scoop…Nakashima was coached by Stefanki for four years. Prediction…Nakashima can save American tennis.

  • Andrew Miller · February 19, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Three cheers for Sock!

  • Andrew Miller · February 19, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    WTA/Dubai – some heady scorelines – Kontaveit d. Pavs (I think Pavs, Giorgi both have a lot of Agassi in their games, especially Pavs given her strategy). Nice win. Halep d. Jabeur barely – Jabeur has been playing well all year. Muguruza, wonder of wonders, wins again – I thought she usually takes these tournaments off (as in loses early and doesn’t worry about it?). Rybakina d. Siniakova, ends her several match win streak (Siniakova had been 0 for the year until now I think?). Sabalenka with a nice win on Mertens.

    Nice to see Sabalenka back in form and outside of China no less.

  • Andrew Miller · February 19, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Other scores from around the world

    Drummondville/Challenger in Quebec: Watanuki d. Blancaneaux BARELY, 7-6 in third. Other winners: Seb Korda, Chris O’Connell, Cid Subervi, Broady (wow – Broady!)

    Morelos, MX: Chris Eubanks winning, good stuff.

    France: Nice to see Felix AA keeps playing tough no matter what. Hard to play back to back tournaments and he pulled out the tough win against Travaglia. Pospisil with a nice win on Hurkasz. And Tsitsipas totally blitzed Ymer the Younger.

    Brazil – Young Alcaraz hanging tough so far against F. Coria. A set a piece.

    Delray – definitely a good win for Nakashima to oust Norrie, and definitely a good win for Nishioka to beat Rubin (rather easily from the scoreline).

    I spent some time listening to Rubin’s podcast today. I can’t say it was enlightening. He must have not much time to do it – it’s all ad hoc.

  • Harold · February 20, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Sock moved up 9,234 spots with his first round win

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