Jack Sock wins Little Rock Challenger
on USTA Pro Circuit
Arthur Kapetanakis | June 8, 2021
Jack Sock saved six match points—three each in the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals—on the way to winning his first singles title since 2018 at the ATP Challenger 80 event in Little Rock, Arkansas. After clinching the trophy at the USTA Pro Circuit event, the former world No. 8 dropped to his knees in celebration of his best result tournament since tearing ligaments in his dominant right thumb in early 2019.
After saving match points against Ernesto Escobedo and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Sock won a third-straight three-setter in the semis against Mitchell Krueger. In Sunday's final against Colombia's Emilio Gomez, he fired nine aces and was never broken in a 7-5, 6-4 victory.
"From where I've been in the last few years, this means a lot," Sock said after the match, as quoted in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. ADVERTISEMENT "It starts with the injuries. It's just brutal, especially with tennis. When you're injured for any significant period of time, you have to start over. It's just the reality of it with the points system."
Currently ranked No. 248 on the ATP Tour, Sock's position will rise in the post-French Open edition of the rankings. (Tthe rankings are not updated in the middle of the Grand Slams.)
"I'm proud of the progress we've made," he added. "I'm very proud of the physical part of this week. I feel fit, and I think I had the toughest schedule this week. I don't think I left before 11 p.m. at night this week."
In 2020, Sock reached the final of the Indian Wells Challenger in March, just before the coronavirus suspension. Following the resumption of play, he reached the second round at both the US Open and Roland Garros, using a protected ranking to get into the New York main draw, then qualifying for the French.
This season, his best result prior to the Little Rock title was a quarterfinal run at another USTA Pro Circuit Challenger event, at the USTA National Campus in Orlando in April. Sock is back at the Campus this week for another Pro Circuit Challenger event.
Elsewhere on the ITF World Tennis Tour, Americans Martin Damm, Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Hurricane Tyra Black also won singles titles. Damm won an M15 event in Macedonia, while Moreno de Alboran and Black swept the M15 and W15 events in Antalya, Turkey. In doubles play, Ernesto Escobedo teamed with Colombia's Nicolas Barrientos to win in Little Rock, while Toby Kodat paired with Germany's Timo Stodder to win in Antalya.