It’s been a rough year for Jack Sock. After finishing 2017 No. 8 in the world, the up and coming American really stuck up the joint the past none months.
If he wasn’t out in the first round, he was knocked out in the second. Hard luck and injury defined his 2018.
But seeded No. 18 at the US Open this year, he finally got the monkey off his back and won his first round at a major, a 6-0 7-6(4) 6-2 win over Argentinian Guido Andreozzi.
“You guys follow tennis throughout the year, so you know it’s been a tough road for a little bit here. A little bit for nine months).
“Yeah, it hasn’t been my best result, but that’s why you have a good team, good family, good support system around you, kept me positive. Obviously doubles has kept me in some tournaments, gave me confidence. Gave me confidence and motivation just to be on court in general.
Sock even gave a little shimmie of his shoulders to show the monkey is off his back.
“Felt like King Kong was on my back there for a while,” he Felt like King Kong was on my back there for a while. It was nice to just get it off. Now I can play free (smiling). said. “It was nice to just get it off. Now I can play free (smiling).”
It’s not easy being in a slump and this year looked lost for the 25 year-old. He was expected to break out and become the lead American. Instead, he took a few steps back.
It wasn’t just hard luck and hard draws. He injured himself in practice at Wimbledon, which hurt his hard court season this summer.
It was almost like he should have just packed it up and waited to 2019 after not being able to walk in July.
“I actually fell on my hip practicing with Andy Murray in London after Wimbledon,” he said. “Landed on my hip actually real bad. Was not able to walk for a few days.”
But you know what? If losing builds character, then Sock has a lot of it.
“I’m going to be honest with you guys: it’s tough,” Sock said. “And it’s already a long year. Incredibly tough sport, traveling all the time, you know, away from family, friends, a lot.
“So when things aren’t going well, it honestly feels more like the end of the world than giving an appreciation. But, yeah, I have had a lot of things happen in my life. I have had — my brother, you know, a lot of things, a lot of unfortunate things, and that gives you the appreciation of it. And then, yeah, when things aren’t going well, you can kind of sit back and say, you know, life is still very good and go out and just enjoy playing.
Like today and maybe, with the monkey off his back, he will be able to continue to enjoy tennis this week.