Up and coming: Sock defeats Kudla

Written by: on 14th September 2010
Up and coming: Sock defeats Kudla  |

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q. Talk about the week and winning the whole thing.  What does it mean to you?

JACK SOCK:  Um, it obviously means a lot.  I had a good week here in the juniors; thought I played pretty well all week.

I was just trying to stick to the game plan every match I had with the help of my coach, and I think I did that pretty well.  I just try to play every point as tough as I can and compete well, and it worked out pretty well.

Q.  Do you find much interest in tennis where you come from?

JACK SOCK:  Yeah.  Well, I love the sport.

Q.  I know you have interest in it, but is it prevalent in Nebraska?

JACK SOCK:  Well, I mean, Kansas now, I live in Kansas City, which is actually a pretty big tennis town.  A lot of people in Kansas City play.  There’s a bunch of clubs all over the place to play.

So, yeah, it’s a pretty big tennis town.

Q.  Is that why you moved?

JACK SOCK:  I moved for my coach actually, Mike Wolf, when I was 10 or 11.  10 or 11 I moved to Kansas City strictly to train with him.  He’s one of the best in the business, I think.

Q.  How would you describe the atmosphere out there?

JACK SOCK:  Um, today ‑‑ obviously there’s a lot of people watching today, which was nice.  We were both Americans, so we both had a lot of support, which was awesome.

It was just ‑‑ it was a very fun match.  Court 11 is a good court, I think, for people to watch.  They can be pretty close to the court and watch, especially with having my group of people over there that watched.  That was nice, having them support me and root me on, which was nice.

Then just the American crowd was awesome to play in front of.

Q.  Denis said he thought it was a little bit strange because if you had played a nonAmerican in the final, all the cheering would have been for one of you, but with both of you it was sort of divided.  But did you feel like your crew gave you the edge, or…

JACK SOCK:  I mean, I think ‑‑ yeah, it was a mixed crowd with people cheering for Denis and people cheering for me.  Obviously people have their own opinions or whatever they think.

So, I mean, they can root for whoever they want.  I’d say it was pretty even, and I just had a little bonus with my group over there that helped me.

But, yeah, I think when the times are tough and you have a group of people that you know and you can always go to look at, I think it’s does help a little, yeah.

Q.  Can you summarize your experience in the first round with Chiudinelli?  Was it tougher than you expected?  Did you feel like, I can do this or what was…

JACK SOCK:  Yeah, that match and the practices and all that before for the main draw was a good learning experience for me.  I went out there, and I was pretty nervous at the beginning.  Had a pretty loose first set, but, I mean, he’s obviously 60‑some in the world for a reason.  These guys get into the draw automatically for a reason.

He just has ‑‑ he’s a veteran, and he’s just a little bit more physical than I am and knows a little bit more about really what he’s doing, I guess.

But I think he kind of dictated play for a couple of sets, and then if I got some energy going in the third set and started moving around a lot more and bouncing around.  I think that’s why the third set I think went my way.

Then the fourth set, again, he stepped up his level.  I played some loose service games, which you can’t have in the pros or else that’s ‑‑ you can lose sets like that pretty fast.

But he’s a great player, and I was definitely happy that I came and played, and hopefully I can play again some other time.

Q.  Are you a big Cornhusker fan like Andy?

JACK SOCK:  I am, yes.

Q.  So 10 more years of hearing about Nebraska.

JACK SOCK:  Yeah, I was born in Lincoln, and my brother is a sophomore there.  He plays tennis for them.  We try to go to some games.  My dad was an alum there, so, yeah, I’m a pretty big Husker fan.

Q.  Bill Wiese came over to me from the New York Junior Tennis League, and he told me that his son, Andrew Wiese, was one of your coaches at one time.  When was it and what did he say to you?

JACK SOCK:  He coached me at one time?

Q.  Yes, Andy Weise.

JACK SOCK:  Andy Weise?  Yeah, that was back when I was I think just starting tennis.

Q.  What age was it?

JACK SOCK:  Probably when I was about ‑‑ yeah, eight, I think.  I don’t remember exactly, but, yeah, when I was about eight and I was starting tennis, he helped me a little bit just kind of get started and get the feel for the game.

Q.  How did he help you?

JACK SOCK:  Just kind of helped me with just the basics of tennis when you’re starting out.  I was kind of just out there hitting balls around, and he kind of just helped me direct certain techniques on the forehand and backhand and stuff.

Q.  What did he say to you after you finished?

JACK SOCK:  I mean, if I like tennis and I love tennis and I can keep practicing and I choose to play it, then hopefully I can do something with it.

Q.  Did he say that you are going to be one of the top Americans in years to come?

JACK SOCK:  No, because you can’t really tell at that time.  I was eight years old.  You can’t judge eight years old if you’re gonna be a top American or not.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about your start in the game and also the decision to move at age 11 from home to train?

JACK SOCK:  Yeah, I started when I was eight.  I was in Lincoln, and my mom was a recreational player.  So I found some racquets at the house and just started playing and hitting against the garage door.

My parents put me in some clinics at a local racquet club.  Kind of got started there.  Then I was playing some local tournaments in our section or just local tournaments wherever I could play, and that’s where my coach, Mike Wolf, I guess watched one of my matches.

And then my parents talked to him a little bit.  We decided for the next year when I was 10 to go down every weekend.  We’d leave Saturday morning and drive back Sunday night to go to two of his camps or clinics on the weekends.

Then after a year we just had to make a decision, a family decision, whether to move down full‑time or not.  My mom, brother, and I moved to Kansas City while my dad stayed back for his job and all that.  I’ve been there since.  I think it was a pretty good decision.

Q.  You go to public school there?

JACK SOCK:  Yeah, yeah, I’m a senior at a public school.

Q.  What’s your dad do?

JACK SOCK:  He’s a financial advisor.

Q.  Have you decided about college or pro or?

JACK SOCK:  I have not, no.  I’m indecisive right now, pretty much.  I’m going to finish out 2010 probably and see where my game is and my ranking, and take some visits this fall.

I think my ultimate goal obviously in tennis is to be a professional tennis player and hopefully make a living, so I’ll just decide which path is the best for me to get there.  If it’s college, then it’s college; if it’s pros right away, then it will be pros.

Q.  For almost a decade, we’ve had a lot of fun with the name of the tennis player, Mardy Fish.  What’s it like as a young man going through life with the name Jack Sock, and do you have a good story or two you could share with us?

JACK SOCK:  To me it’s a simple name, obviously.  But I mean, obviously there are the jokes here and there about just my last name.  I don’t know, it’s just a lot of people misspell it or ask me how to spell it when it’s really simple.  (Laughter.)

It’s not too difficult.  But, I mean, there hasn’t ‑‑ it’s not a big deal.  I mean, yeah, there’s not much to it.  I don’t know.  I mean, it’s one syllable for each, so…

Q.  What’s in the water in Kansas City in terms of the Explorers after 18 years won the Team Tennis title?  What’s happening there in Kansas City?

JACK SOCK:  Yeah, that was a big win for the Explorers.  I think the tennis fans in Kansas City were happy with it.  I think the Explorers get a pretty good crowd when they play.

Everyone was pretty excited, and I think it was good that they brought home the trophy.

Q.  Are you at all amused at what’s happened to you over the last month and a half?

JACK SOCK:  Um, I’m very happy, obviously.  It’s been a great, great month and a half or two months or whatever, and I’m very happy with the way I’m playing.

I mean, Kalamazoo was a great week, as well.  I had a rough start, but I was happy with the way I finished there.  Then here obviously again I had another good week.  I don’t know if this is yet settled in much, but I know it’s been an unbelievable month and a half.

Hopefully I can keep this play up for a while.

Q.  Sam Querrey and John Isner talk about the pressure that they feel to uphold this American tradition of tennis.  How much of that trickles down to you?  How much pressure do you feel?

JACK SOCK:  I mean, I don’t really feel much pressure.  Those guys are top 20 in the world and I’m still 650 and whatever.  But, no, I think us, as in juniors, we’re just doing what we can.  We’re practicing hard and we’re working hard and doing what we can to improve.

Hopefully we can get to that level one day and be in the American tennis spotlight.  Hopefully.  I mean, those guys deserve it.  They’ve worked hard to get there.  Now they’re top 20 in the world, which is awesome and Andy has been top 10 for however many years straight, which is incredible.

But we’re just taking it day by day and tournament by tournament and doing what we can.  Hopefully we can get to that level some day.

Q.  You mentioned colleges.  Do you have any kind of list of colleges you might attend or any visits you might take?

JACK SOCK:  I have ‑‑ I mean, I have like 10 to 12 colleges just that I like.  I haven’t really narrowed it down to visits yet.  I’m probably gonna do that here in the next month or two.  But, I mean, I like a lot of schools, so it’s hard to say right now.

Q.  Can you talk about whether you have spoken with Djokovic in the last couple of days?

JACK SOCK:  Um, yeah.  Well, I warmed him up yesterday before his match.  Well, we warmed each other up, I guess, because I played, too.  He had a great win.  I was happy for him.  He’s playing very well.  That was a great win for him, obviously.

But I didn’t see him after his match yesterday.  I saw some of his coaches, and they said, Great job.  Way to go.  I told them, Good luck in the final, and Nice job to him after yesterday.

I haven’t spoken to him directly.

Q.  You seemed to come out a little bit nervous today.  That was a first set that we really hadn’t seen from you, you know, previously this week.  How would you compare how you felt coming out today for the final of to the final of Kalamazoo?  There was a great deal at stake in Kalamazoo, as well.  Compare those two experiences, please.

JACK SOCK:  Um, well, I mean, I wasn’t too nervous today.  I mean, I was just gonna go out there and play.  I had a good first game today.  I mean, I held serve pretty easily in the first game, and then I got broken on a loose game on my part, and he attacked me, which allowed him to get the game and the break.

But Kalamazoo is just ‑‑ it was my first three‑out‑of‑five‑set match, so I was just kind of settled down and prepared to go the distance, if necessary.  I mean, I have the same routine usually for every tournament, so there wasn’t a difference between Kalamazoo and here.

Kalamazoo I had a strict game plan that my coach and I talked about that I stuck to, and here today I had a strict game plan that I stuck to.  I did pretty well in both, so that was good.

So, yeah, there’s not too much difference between tournaments that I’m gonna look at a match.

Q.  Are you gonna eat at Chipotle tonight?

JACK SOCK:  Probably not tonight.  I might go and get a burger and fries and celebrate.

Q.  You’ve been chasing the Gold Ball record since you were 12 and coming pretty close.  How does this compare?

JACK SOCK:  Yeah, that trophy is obviously not a gold ball, but that’s probably the coolest trophy I’ve ever won.  When I saw that, I was pretty excited to hold that.

But, yeah, I mean, I’ve had a pretty good junior career, I guess, in the gold ball count, if you want to say, but…

Q.  What is the number now, 20?

JACK SOCK:  I don’t know.  Yeah, I guess 20, 21.  I have no idea.  I don’t know.  I don’t really count them.

Yeah, I just am doing the best I can.  I’m just going out there and playing and fighting for every point and competing the best I can.  It’s doing good.

Q.  What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given, whether from Djokovic or one of the guys on the Davis Cup team?

JACK SOCK:  Um, just, you can’t ‑‑ probably from Andy Roddick when I was talking to him via text messaging, and he said, You can’t get back yesterday.

If you practice as hard as you can every day, you’ll be happy with the outcome.  It’s better not to learn the lesson later in life and to do it earlier and just start working as hard as you can now and not regret your past.

But I think as long as I work as hard as I can and do everything that my coach tells me and do everything to the best of my abilities, then hopefully I can have a future.

Q.  Did you sense Novak was going to do something special yesterday?

JACK SOCK:  He’s been playing well this week, so that’s…

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