Former world No. 8 Jack Sock admitted that surprising Alexander Bublik to reach the US Open third round meant a lot to him.
Sock, now ranked at No. 184 in the world, edged out Bublik in five sets 7-6 (3) 6-7 (2) 6-4 4-6 6-3 to advance to a Grand Slam third round for the firs time since the 2017 US Open.
“[That was] just happiness [after] a lot of sacrifice. It’s been a journey back, nobody can deny it, nor will I let anyone take a moment like this for granted or away from me,” Sock said. “You can do that maybe when you’re a little bit younger, you’re ranked higher, you’re making the third round at Slams consistently. You’re playing the quarters and semis at other Tour events and it just kind of seems like it’s normal.
“To have not felt that for this long and to now feel that again, especially in a long match like that, a physical one, especially when people have doubted me physically over the years, it just felt good not only for myself, but to stick it to a few people as well, not going to lie.”
Sock hopes his best tennis could be ahead of him
In 2017, Sock won his maiden Masters title in Paris, made the semifinal at the Nitto ATP Finals and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 8 in the world.
Sock, 28, is hoping he could still achieve some big things in the game.
“Everyone knows that road back is basically starting over. I didn’t even have a number next to my name for a ranking. There was definitely a real conversation whether we were going to do this or not,” Sock said. “I’m happy with what I’ve done in my career. I would say I’ve had a very successful career to this point, but we did feel there was still some, if not a lot left in the tank and a lot of good tennis still ahead of me. Maybe some of my best tennis is still ahead of me, so I’m just trying to prove that one week at a time, one match at a time.
“I was lost definitely there for a little bit, but very, very fortunate and blessed to have found my coach Bogie [Alex Bogomolov], my wife, I’m based in Charlotte now. I feel like we’ve got a good thing going.”