Sock wins US Men’s Clay Court for his first ti­tle

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Jack Sock won the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Cham­pi­onships on Sun­day for his first ATP World Tour ti­tle, beat­ing eighth-seeded Sam Quer­rey 7-6 (9), 7-6 (2) in an all-Amer­i­can fi­nal.

The 22-year-old Sock saved three set points in the first tiebreaker in the rain­de­layed match and quickly an­swered a break by Quer­rey in the sec­ond set to get the match back on serve.

Sock be­came the sixth Amer­i­can to win the coun­try’s only men’s clay-court tour­na­ment. He will climb to a ca­reer­high 36th in the ATP rank­ing.

“It’s never easy play­ing friends — (we) Amer­i­cans are pretty close,” Sock said on the court af­ter be­ing pre­sented with the tro­phy. “It was a great match. I hope we play many more in the fu­ture. I’ve been through a lot ... a rough few months.”

Sock, the Wim­ble­don dou­bles cham­pion with Vasek Pospisil, was play­ing his first ATP sin­gles fi­nal in only his third tour­na­ment of the sea­son. He un­der­went surgery to re­pair a torn mus­cle in his hip in De­cem­ber and didn’t re­turn un­til In­dian Wells last month.

In ad­di­tion to re­hab­bing from the op­er­a­tion, older brother Eric had a po­ten­tially fa­tal lung in­fec­tion. Eric Sock came to Hous­ton with him for the tour­na­ment.

“I’ve been bat­tling through it for him,” Sock said “Thanks for be­ing here, Eric.”

The 27-year-old Quer­rey, also fin­ished sec­ond in the event in 2010. He served seven love games, but played sev­eral loose points in the two breaks he suf­fered. He also lost fo­cus at cru­cial junc­tures in both tiebreak­ers, let­ting a 5-2 lead slip away in the first.

The match was in­ter­rupted for 2 hours, 20 min­utes af­ter a heavy thun­der­storm soaked the courts, re­quir­ing ma­jor re­pairs. Sock was lead­ing 30-love, hav­ing just belted an ace, but trail­ing 4-5 in games when play got stopped. Af­ter the match re­sumed, he lost the first two points, the sec­ond on a dou­ble fault, but never se­ri­ously wob­bled there­after.

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