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Pro Media & News

John Isner, Jack Sock win second Indian Wells doubles title

Victoria Chiesa | March 19, 2022

For the second time in a four-year span, John Isner and Jack Sock are leaving the California desert as BNP Paribas Open doubles champions.

 

The American duo, wild cards into the doubles field at the Masters 1000 event, defeated Mexico's Santiago Gonzalez and France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin in an all-unseeded final on Saturday for the trophy, 7-6(4), 6-3. 

 

In victory, Isner and Sock saved all 11 break points they faced in 80 minutes. Having also won Indian Wells together in 2018, the 36-year-old Isner and 29-year-old Sock now boast a 26-8 record as a doubles team. In addition to the two Indian Wells titles, the American duo also paired to win the Shanghai Masters in 2016. 

 

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Sock said in victory. "Four years ago to the day ... we were playing out here [in the 2018 final]. To win in the States is always a good feeling, and to do it with basically my big brother is an even better feeling." 

 

Unseeded in all three of their wins at Masters 1000 events, the duo earned their first tournament win as wild cards this week—a fact Isner cheekily acknowledged in their victory speech with a shoutout to tournament director and former ATP pro Tommy Haas.

 

“Jack and I always enjoy our time here. It feels amazing to share the court with Jack, so thank you for playing with me. A huge thank you to Tommy Haas for the wild card, because without that, we would not have been able to play. Tommy, we owe you dinner, buddy!”

Photo credit: Getty Images

Isner and Sock lost just one set in their five victories on the week, and it was in their most impressive victory: in the opening round, they defeated top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic of Croatia, the 2021 year-end No.1s and Wimbledon champions, in a match tiebreak, 7-6(3), 3-6, [10-7].

 

At a tournament that often sees decorated singles players also compete in doubles, the pair knocked off a who's who of champions in their title run: they also defeated Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, who had their own stunning run to the Australian Open title as wild cards in January, in Round 2; the team of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Feliciano Lopez, doubles winners in Acapulco last month, in the quarterfinals; and singles world No. 3 Alexander Zverev and his partner Andrey Golubev in the semifinals. 

"You can't replicate matches. Hopefully, Jack and I can use this to our advantage. Four years ago, when we won this, I went on and won Miami in singles," Isner added.

 

"That’s going to be a tall task [to do that again], but it did feel like we had a little unfinished business this year. Last year, [when Indian Wells was played] in October, I had to skip town for the birth of my son 30 minutes before our second round match.

 

"It's good to come back here with Jack. We were fortunate enough to get a wild card and won it all."

 

The title run in doubles, coupled with a marathon second-round loss in singles to Tsitsipas in a third-set tiebreak, encapsulated what was an encouraging two weeks on the whole for Sock. He's still eyeing a return to the Top 100 in singles after being nominated for the ATP's Comeback Player of the Year award in 2021. 

 

"I played some great singles here, too. I wasn't able to get it done against one of the best players in our game, but I think I'm definitely back to some of my best form, I think, ever," Sock said. "I feel more mature, more patient out there ... and I'm ready to do some damage again."

 

It wasn't to be for American hopes in the women's doubles final, however; Asia Muhammad and her partner, former UCLA Bruin Ena Shibahara of Japan, finished as the runners-up to the Chinese team of Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan, 7-5, 7-6(4). 

The run to the WTA 1000-level final nonetheless capped a stunning month-plus of tennis for Muhammad: the loss snapped her personal winning streak of 27 straight matches across singles and doubles at all levels. Staying in Australia to compete at tournaments there after the Australian Open, she won three $25,000 singles titles on the ITF World Tennis Tour and two doubles titles. 

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