Jack Sock broke down in tears after an emotional first win since 2018.
Sock, the No. 8 player in the world just two years ago, hadn’t won on the ATP Tour since the Paris Masters in November 2018. His two years of agony finally ended on Wednesday with an emotional victory over Radu Albot in the first round of the Delray Beach Open in Florida.
Sock has relied on wild-card entries to play in tournaments recently after his world ranking points dissolved completely to nothing, leaving him as an unranked player outside the top 1000.
Now, 15 months since his last Tour win, Sock was overcome on the court after he rallied and saved a match point to defeat Albot, the defending champ at Delray Beach, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.
After saving a match point to force a third-set tiebreak, the Kansas City native came up with clutch serves to win the match 7-2 in the breaker. The 27-year-old dropped to his knees after match point and hid his head in his hands before wiping away tears.
He was clearly emotional and broke down in more tears after shaking hands with Albot and retreating to his courtside seat. He was still wiping away tears when he returned to the court to thank the crowd.
The tennis community celebrated Sock’s win, but some noted that Albot was winless in 2019, recovering from shoulder surgery and the level of the match was poor. That matters not to Sock, whose only highlight the past two years was a victory over Italian Fabio Fognini in the Laver Cup — an event that pits the World against Europeans, but is not an ATP Tour event.
The win automatically restores Sock as a ranked player and he is expected to climb as high as No. 770 in the world when the ATP Tour updates its rankings next Monday.
He will now play American Steve Johnson in the second round for a spot in the Delray Beach quarterfinals.
Tennis commentators were filled with emotion at seeing Sock finally break his 15-month drought.
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