American Number One, Gold Medalist Heading to the ASB Classic
Hot off the back of an impressive week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, ASB Classic organisers have confirmed the signature of 2016 Finalist Jack Sock to return to Auckland.
Sock upset World Number 6 Milos Raonic en-route to a quarter-final, his third top ten victory of the year (Ferrer/Auckland and Cilic/US Open). The third-round victory over Raonic elevated him past Stevie Johnson to become the highest ranked American on the Emirates ATP Tour Rankings (23). He backed up his solid singles showing by winning the doubles crown, the 7th of his career, partnered with former ASB Classic Champion John Isner.
Long considered the player to lead American tennis following his Junior US Open triumph in 2010, it has been a career best year for the 24-year-old. Sock started his year in Auckland defeating world number seven David Ferrer in the semi-finals before withdrawing from the final against Roberto due to a virus. A further final’s appearance came in Houston along with two quarter-finals.
Sock, who has had a lot of success doubles, is already a two time Grand Slam Champion (US Open 2011 and Wimbledon 2014), he captured the Mixed Doubles Gold (partnering Bethanie Mattek-Sands) and Men’s Doubles Bronze (with Stevie Johnson) Medals at the Rio Olympics. The Shanghai Masters victory was the fourth time Sock had reached a final at tour level events in 2016 (Indian Wells, Rome, Beijing and Shanghai).
Sock is excited to be returning to one of his favourite tournaments of the year. “I always love coming back there. It’s a really cool city. Kind of a laid back event. For me it’s the best lead up to the first Grand Slam of the year,” said Sock.
2017 could be a defining year for the Nebraska native. “For me it’s about making the second week of Grand Slams. I want to push the top ten, top 15,” added Sock.
The confirmation of the number one American men’s player to join the already announced Agut, Ferrer and Isner, adds to what is shaping up as a quality ASB Classic Men’s field. Tournament Director Karl Budge said, “Three former champions and our defending finalist puts the tournament in great shape for a huge Men’s event. Jack is playing at a high level and is really starting to fulfil the potential we saw in him a number of years ago.”
“He has a really big game. Stats say his forehand is bigger than Nadal’s and matched with serving at more than 220kph like he did last year, he will be a handful. It’s a great contrast of styles,” Budge continued.
The 2017 tournament is set to be the biggest yet with record breaking ticket sales so far. “We have one of the best line-ups in the tournaments history set for this year, it’s great to see so many Kiwis getting behind the tennis,” says Budge.
More player signings will be announced in the coming weeks with the full men’s and women’s line-up to be announced late November.
The ASB Classic will span for two weeks; the women's tournament kicking off on January 2nd to 7th followed by the men’s tournament from January 9th to 14th. Tickets are available for purchase through Ticketek. You can purchase tickets either online, over the phone on (0800 842 538) or in person at one of the agencies listed on the Ticketek website.