Jack Sock’s run in singles at the French Open came to an end Monday in Paris.
Sock, a former tennis star at Blue Valley North High School, couldn’t overcome a slow start in his match against nine-time champion Rafael Nadal. Sock fell 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 in his bid to become the first American man to reach the quarterfinals since Andre Agassi 2003.
“I knew it was going to be a tough task and I was going to have to play my best tennis to have a chance,” Sock said in his postmatch news conference.
After dropping the first two sets, Sock got back in the match in the third set when he converted three break points. However, Nadal regained control in the fourth set and put the match away.
Sock, the last American male in the singles draw, was hurt by nine double faults and 43 unforced errors, compared with two double faults and 32 unforced errors for Nadal.
Sock said the serve of both players was key.
“My serve let me down,” he said. “I needed to serve very well, if not my best, to have a chance. That is probably what I am most frustrated with. It didn’t feel right today.”
Sock also had trouble with Nadal’s serve.
“My returns, I wasn’t getting them deep enough,” he said. “Obviously against a guy like that, if you leave anything short they are on it pretty fast and take control of the point.”
Sock said he was pleased with his showing, which included straight-set wins over his first three opponents, and he hopes to build on it in the future.
“I came in hoping to win matches and have a good run,” he said. I am pleased with it, to win three three-setters against some good opponents.
“To go up against the best player to play our sport and see where I match up, I will definitely take a lot away from this week.”
This is the furthest Sock has ever gotten in singles at a major championship, and he bristled at the suggestion that he might do better if he didn’t play doubles.
Sock has reached the quarterfinals in doubles with partner Vasek Pospisil. They will play Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau tomorrow.
“If you are younger, are feeling good and have the energy, why not,” he said. “As long as I am healthy, I will keep playing doubles.”