It was shaping up to be a magical night at the US Open for Jack Sock as he looked to climb back into the ATP top 100. Only, his body wouldn’t cooperate.
Sock breezed through the first two sets of his match against 14th-seeded Argentinian Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday night. He was crushing 138 mph serve sand striking 31 winners en route to a 6-3, 7-5 lead under the bright lights at the US Open. It looked like the Jack Sock who had been ranked 8th in the world just four years ago had returned.
Then the mood of the night changed drastically.
Sock lost the first three games of the third set and called a trainer out to treat his back. Nothing seemed to work.
The American began mis-hitting his serves and looked noticeably hampered in his movement on the court. After hitting 32 unforced errors in the first two sets combined, Sock hit 22 in the third set alone as Schwartzman won the set 6-0.
After losing the first game of the fourth set, Sock was forced to bow out.
It was a difficult loss for the American, who has really struggled to regain his form over the past four years. On November 20th of 2017 he was ranked 8th in the world at just 25 years old, and it seemed like the future was bright. He won three tournaments on tour that year but has yet to win another in his career.
While Jack Sock didn’t speak to the media after the match, Diego Schwartzman knew how lucky he got. “My level was not here today,” he said after the match. “I was trying to figure out how to do it, and it was tough. I didn’t find a way in the first two sets. I just got lucky there at the end.”
Sometimes you need a little luck in a tournament like the US Open. Schwartzman now advances to play 87th-ranked Australian Alexei Popyrin and could be set up for a third-round showdown with 22nd-seeded American Frances Tiafoe in a few days’ time.