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Friday, November 20, 2009

Sock Reaches Semifinals at Amelia Island; Isner Prepares for 2010; Novakova to Join Baylor; Steve Johnson in College Spotlight

Seventeen-year-old Jack Sock has reached his second Futures semifinal of the fall with a 6-4, 6-1 win today over No. 6 seed Adam El Mihdawy in Amelia Island, Florida. In Thursday's second round, Sock beat No. 4 seed Matej Bocko of Slovakia 6-3, 6-0; it was his second straight-set win over the 429th-ranked 25-year-old, who lives in the U.S.

With the points he receives from his three wins this week (he won his first round match from former Illinois player Roy Kalmanovich when Kalmanovich retired down a set), Sock will break into the ATP Top 1000, having played only five tournaments total on the professional circuit. In Saturday's semifinal, Sock will play former LSU All-American Michael Venus, who is also unseeded. The other semifinal features unseeded James Lemke, the former Pepperdine player who has reached the finals of the last two Futures, winning one, against No. 2 seed Artem Sitak of Russia, who defeated Alex Domijan 6-3, 6-4 in their quarterfinal contest today.

For complete results, see the Pro Circuit page.

Although the ATP season isn't even officially over--the top eight men are squaring off in London beginning Sunday in the World Tour Finals--the previews for 2010 are already beginning, especially in the press of Australia and New Zealand, where the year's first tournaments are held. The New Zealand Herald spoke with former Georgia star John Isner about returning to New Zealand early next year for the Heineken Open. When Isner played that tournament this year, he had to qualify; now he is at a career-high ATP ranking of 34. The story lays out his entire pro career, which is less than three years old, and there have been decided peaks and valleys in those 30 months.

There have been dozens of announcements this week about blue chip signings, and although none of them were from the Baylor women's program, they have every reason to be excited about a player who is joining them next fall. Sona Novakova, the two-time Division II champion from Armstrong Atlantic and this year's small college Super Bowl winner, is transferring to the Bears in 2010. Ironically, the 20-year-old from the Czech Republic drew current Baylor star Lenka Broosova in the first round of the Indoor this month, and they battled to a third set tiebreaker before Broosova secured the win. For the Baylor release, click here.

The USTA's Collegiate Spotlight features ITA Indoor Champion Steve Johnson of Southern California.


getreal said...

Jack Sock consistently played his age group rather then played up which probably taught him how to win under pressure (beating people he should be able to handily beat), played only USTA, most impressive attends a regular school unlike most elite tennis players who do some minimal on-line school program, been with the same coach forever and his pro results in 4 tournaments speak for themselves. And from what I understand ignored by the USTA in the 12s-16s until recently (seems to be a pattern here). Sock is a good example of tennis player rising to the top and leading a relatively normal life in the process. Sock shows to be successful if you got it you dont have to be a high school drop out and onky hit tennis balls. Wish him luck!