Tournament 14 Jan 2017

Jack Sock wins the ASB Classic

Jack Sock wins the ASB Classic

The 2017 ASB Classic men’s winner is Jack Sock.

In 1 hour and 56 minutes, he dispatched Portugal’s Joao Sousa, 6-3 5-7 6-3.

On the American’s third time to Auckland he secured his second ATP singles title. As he won match point he collapsed on Centre Court, ecstatic after battling through 11 sets of tennis this week. Ranked 23 in the world, he has only won one title before in Houston in 2015.

“It means a lot. Karl Budge gave me a wildcard five years ago. I didn’t know much about the tournament and now I’ve played it every year that I can. I love this crowd. I love everything about it. They do an amazing job here and make you feel so comfortable. For us it’s really far away and they make you feel really comfortable. I definitely look forward to coming back for many years,” said Sock.

Sock went one step further than 2016 when he reached the final but had to withdraw in the second set against Roberto Bautista Agut due to a virus. Regardless, the 2016 result pushed him to a career high 22 in the world. His best year yet on Tour followed, claiming the scalps of four top ten players and doubles gold at the Rio Olympics. He became the American number one for the first time in his career in October.

His opponent 27-year-old Sousa struggled on final’s day though. Sock was much more aggressive hitting 27 winners to Sousa’s 8. The two are now even, Sousa winning their only other match up at the Madrid Open in May 2016.

On reaching the ASB Classic final Sousa replied, “It was a great week, impressive. I’ve been playing better and better. Today Jack was better and congrats to him and his team.”

He was grateful for the support he received from Auckland fans saying, “Thank you for the big support you gave me today, to help me come from a set down and almost beat him. I’ve been playing at a good level so it’s gives me a lot of confidence to face the first Grand Slam of the year.”

Sock had to grind out some long matches early in the tournament with three-set matches against compatriot Ryan Harrison and then Jeremy Chardy. Both lasted longer than two hours and tested Sock in his first ATP Tournament of the year. In the semi-finals he faced American number three Steve Johnson winning 6-4 6-3.