As the song says, Jack Sock must be “walking with (his) feet ten feet off of Beale.” It seems that the guy who has singlehandedly turned Chipotle into the Wheaties box of the 21st century can do no wrong on the tennis courts in the land of the delta blues.
In the most exciting match so far of the Memphis tournament, Jack Sock defeated his doubles partner, James Blake, 7-5, 6-4 in an engaging match on Thursday night. The two Americans required an exceedingly high level of tennis from each other. The compelling rallies between the two wildcard players occasionally became stunning in the second set. Surprising some, it was the rising star Jack Sock who appeared to have the edge over the experienced veteran James Blake. In terms of audience appeal, the all-American battle was a draw, with both players matching each other’s high level of charisma. In the end, Sock proved to be the more poised and in-control player; breaking Blake enough to claim victory. With the win, 20-year-old Jack Sock has reached the second ATP Tour quarter-final of his career.
In the other big match of the day, it took top-seeded Marin Cilic three match points, but he succeeded in beating Igor Sijsling 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 7-6 (9-7). The Croatian celebrated his eighth straight victory following a major loss to Andreas Seppi in the third round of last month’s Australian Open. Fourth-seeded American Sam Querrey didn’t fare quite as well. Querrey, who titled at the Racquet Club of Memphis in 2010, had 15 aces in his match against Marinko Matosevic. Still, the Australian prevailed 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals.
In other news from Day 4 of the Memphis tournament:
- Tommy Haas, of Germany (a three-time Memphis champion), withdrew from his match against Feliciano Lopez, of Spain, because of an illness.
- Fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori, of Japan, beat Donald Young 6-3, 6-3, and seventh-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov, of the Ukraine, defeated American Rhyne Williams, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
- American Michael Russell beat Lukasz Kubot, of Poland, 6-2, 6-4.
- Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin outplayed Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt 6-1 6-2, beating the former world No. 1 in less than an hour.
What to looking forward to next:
- Jack Sock will meet Spain’s Feliciano Lopez next, in what will be only his second ATP Quarterfinal. Lopez received a walkover past second-round opponent Tommy Haas, who withdrew due to illness. While 47th-ranked Lopez got an unexpected night off, 168th-ranked Sock was wowing the crowd and living up to all expectations.
Speaking of rankings, with his victory over Blake, Sock will find himself “walking in Memphis” (or at least walking out of Memphis) with a new career high ranking of at least 133 in the world. So far.