American Jack Sock shocked by real estate investor in loss at Delray Beach Open

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Jack Sock at the US Open
Jack Sock at the 2022 US Open (Photo by Manuela Davies/USTA)

American Jack Sock’s latest attempt to resurrect his career took a surprising turn in the first round at the Delray Beach Open when he was upset in three sets by 33-year-old Matija Pecotic, who currently works full-time for a Private Equity/Real Estate Development Firm in Palm Beach, Florida.

Although currently ranked 143rd in the world Jack Sock was coming off of a decent showing at the Dallas Open, beating 74th-ranked Ilya Ivashka and pushing 8th-ranked Taylor Fritz in a tough second-round loss. 

It was another small step forward for the 30-year-old as he looks to come back from multiple injuries that have derailed his once-promising career. 


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In November 2017, Jack Sock reached a career-high ranking of 8th in the world. He went 38-22 that year, winning three titles on the ATP tour, including the ATP Masters 1000 Paris and the Delray Beach Open while also making the semi-finals of Indian Wells before losing to Rodger Federer.

However, the wheels began to fall off in 2018. Sock compiled a 9-22 tour-level record and finished the season down at number 106 in the ATP Rankings. Then he tore two ligaments in his thumb and had to step away from the tour for six months. 

The “thumb was so impaired that there were times when he couldn’t use a Q-Tip or brush his teeth with his right hand,” and doctors told him it might take up to two years before he felt the same flexibility and strength that he had before. For a player who had built his success on a powerful right-handed forehand, it was a major blow. 

However, Sock kept trying to work his way back up the singles rankings all while remaining a top-50 player in the world in the doubles rankings. He and Frances Tiafoe were actually the doubles team that beat Rafael Nadal and Rodger Federer at the Laver Cup in Federer’s last match. 

Jack Sock competes at Indian Wells back in 2022
Jack Sock competes against Stefanos Tsitsipas at Indian Wells back in 2022 (Wikimedia commons)

Sock was close to a massive upset at the first round of last year’s U.S. Open but had to withdraw due to a back injury. It was just another in a long line of setbacks for Sock’s singles career. A career that seemingly took another hit on Tuesday night when he lost 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to 784th-ranked Matija Pecotic who is the Director of Capital Markets for Wexford Real Estate Investors, an affiliate of the $4 billion investment firm Wexford Capital. 

While much has been made of Pecotic being a full-time finance worker who keeps a typical 9-6 schedule and tries to squeeze in tennis in the morning before work by training with his 70-year-old boss, he has had a long tennis career. 

The Croatian-born Pecotic played on the ITF Junior Rankings and then became a star at Princeton University, winning Ivy League Player of the Year three times and climbing as high as second in the nation in college tennis rankings.

After graduating, he turned pro and rose up to 206th in the world in 2015. However, before the 2016 Australian Open, he had stomach surgery that led to unforeseen consequences. 

“[I] ended up getting a serious staph infection and I was basically bed-ridden for eight months,” Pecotic said. “That changed the trajectory of my tennis timeline and my tennis career.”

As a result of his lengthy recovery from surgery, Pecotic decided to enroll at Harvard Business School, where he was approached by Andrew Rueb, a member of the Harvard men’s tennis coaching staff, who asked Pecotic if he wanted to work out with the team. 

“Soon enough I was with the guys six days a week and I started playing tennis again and I rediscovered my love for the game,” Pecotic told the ATP’s official website

Matija Pecotic competes against Jack Sock in the Delray Beach Open
Matija Pecotic competes against Jack Sock in the Delray Beach Open (Photo: ATP Tour website)

After business school, he decided to give it one more go on the professional tour, giving himself one year to get inside the top 250. If he accomplished that, he would keep going with his tennis dream.

He got as high as 320th in just six months and was playing the best tennis of his career. Then COVID hit. 

With the ATP tour canceled, Pecotic returned home and went to work at Wexford Capital, a hedge fund and real estate investment firm. 

However, he remained involved in ATP events, even as a part-time professional, and was on Croatia’s United Cup team this year. With the Delray Beach Open not too far from his home, he signed in as an alternate for the qualifying draw and dropped off his racquets for stringing. He did not get in,

When he showed up Saturday morning to pick up his racquets, he was told by a supervisor that a player was withdrawing, and Pecotic would make the draw after all. 

In his first qualifying match, he beat American Stefan Kozlov after Kozlov retired while trailing Pecotic 7-6, 5-5. He then won his second qualifying match against former Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 before entering the main draw to face Sock. 

He will face Marcos Giron in the second round after Giron beat rising star Ben Shelton 6-4, 6-4 in the first round at the Delray Beach Open. 

“I had to leave work early today,” Pecotic said after beating Sock. “I had to send an email to the whole team. [My boss] let me off. I’m going to have to ask for another day off tomorrow.”

For more tennis coverage, like this Jack Sock story, visit amNY Sports


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