Back in 1968, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In had then-Republican Presidential Candidate Richard Nixon appear on the show and say its signature line.
“Sock it to me?” Nixon questioned in his deep distinct voice.
Flash forward 48 years and there’s a tennis player at the US Open joking about wanting to run for President and now that he’s in the Round of 16, Jack Sock may be a legit candidate.
“I think it can only help my campaign,” Sock said after he dispatched the No. 7 seed Marin Cilic in straight sets, 6-4 6-3 6-3. “It’s been a good year. I think I’m the only one running so I’m in good position now. Yeah, no, it’s been good fun, and hopefully everyone helps.”
At 23, Sock is 12 years short of an actual presidential run, but with the way he’s been playing, you never know what happens in the future.
Right now, though, tennis is on his mind and Sock is looking like a more mature player than the one that came around five years ago, which had everyone thinking he was going to be the next great thing.
“Maybe in the past years maybe I was — like he was saying, I was happy to make third round and, you know, kind of whatever happens, happens,” he said. But I feel like definitely more, you know, on a mission this year, you know, like I have been at most tournaments. Going forward, like I said, I feel like where my tennis is and confidence, you know, how I can play, my goal is to be competing to win tournaments that I’m playing instead of, you know, just content with making a quarter or whatever tournament it is.”
That includes a commitment to singles rather than playing in men’s or mixed doubles. That was an issue Sock had the last few years when he would “run out of gas” after playing maybe 10 sets in a day and then have to play two days later.
Now, he’s just committed to the one, which is making him focus on the prize. “Tough decision on one end, but also easy decision on the other, where you get all your energy and rest and hydration and you just take all the necessary steps to do your best in singles,” he said. “I think it’s showing. So far this year I think I’ll stick to this in the future.”
He gets No. 9 seed Jo-Wilfred Tsonga next and the No. 26 seems to be ready for the Frenchman.
“He’s a very established player,” Sock said. “Been in the top 10 for a long time and had great success at tournaments of all levels and I’m going to have to obviously bring out my best stuff again to have a chance.”
However, he already has the scouting report.
“It’s sort of similar to today,” he added. “I think he’s a guy who likes to lean on the ball. Likes to be attacking and dictating. If I can throw some variety in there, serve well again, and get into some return games, the chances go up for me.”
With every win, Sock’s popularity grows. A few majors under his belt and maybe, a presidential run isn’t out of the question when he turns 35.
And we all know what he campaign slogan will be.
“Sock it to me!”