The elastic Jack Sock outlasted top seed Jesse Levine in a shocker at the Charlottesville Challenger on Tuesday night at the Boar’s Head Resort in Charlottesville, Virginia. Sock put everyone on notice by winning the first 6-4, then watched as Levine evened it up and went ahead 3-1 in the third and decisive set. Sock responded by winning six of the final eight games of the set to prevail 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
Sock will face Izak Van Der Merwe in the round of 16 on Thursday. By knocking out the #1 seed, the only seeds remaining in Sock’s half of the draw are Bobby Reynolds and Denis Kudla, both of whom would love to capitalize on Sock’s conquest of Levine.
Over the weekend, Tennis East Coast’s Steen Kirby called Sock the dark horse of the field, stating that
Sock will have a tough first round ask against Levine, but he is in the right form for an upset. It would get easier from there against Van Der Merwe and likely Farah or Reynolds followed by Zverev or Young in the semis. They’re all winnable matchups for the rising youngster.
Updated Draw: HERE
Updated OOP: HERE
Former UT student-athlete Rhyne Williams knocked out 5 seed Ryan Sweeting yesterday. Hours later, his former roommate at the University of Tennessee, Tennys Sandgren, almost sent 2 seed Alexander Bogomolov packing before his game collapsed in the third set as Bogo prevailed 1-6, 7-5. 6-0. Incidentally, this was the same scoreline by which President Obama won the three sets of Presidential Debates earlier this month.
Rhyno will face USC’s Steve Johnson in the Round of 16, while Bogomolov will see wild card Austin Krajicek.
On tap for Tuesday is DC’s Dennis Kudla against Britain’s Daniel Smethurst for the opener. Later, UVA product Somdev Devvarman will try to use the crowd support to overcome Mischa Zverev. UVA ‘First Year’ Mac Styslinger, who tore through qualifying, will test his game against Izak Van Der Merwe.
The nightcap will feature the most highly anticipated match of the tournament, as top seed Jesse Levine takes on phenom Jack Sock. No, it’s not Sock vs. Roddick under the lights of Arthur Ashe, but it’s guaranteed entertainment. Here’s your printable Order of Play.
Main Draw First Round
Tim Smyczek d. Alex Domijan 7-5,6-4
Brad Klahn d. Michael McClune 6-3, 6-3
Rhyne Williams d. Ryan Sweeting 6-4, 6-4
Steve Johnson d. Alex Bogdanovic 7-6 (5), 7-5
Austin Krajicek d. Tsung-Hua Yang 6-2, 6-1
Alex Bogomolov, Jr. d. Tennys Sandgren 1-6, 7-5, 6-0
Fritz Wolmarans d. Darian King 6-3, 6-4
Taro Daniel d. Devin Britton 6-3, 6-4
Eric Quigley d. Edward Corrie 6-4, 6-2
Mac Styslinger d. Jeff Dadamo 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (2)
Djokovic Wins Second Straight Title, Earns China Double
Novak Djokovic won his second straight ATP title in Shanghai and his third masters title of the year with a hard-won 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 victory over Andy Murray in which he saved five match points and came back from a set down. By virtue of winning Beijing the previous week, Novak gets the honor of having won both ATP events in China this year.
Previously in the week, he rolled through Grigor Dimitrov, Feliciano Lopez, Tommy Haas and Tomas Berdych all in straights, while Murray got a walkover against Florian Mayer, beat Alexandr Dolgopolov in straights, Radek Stepanek in three, and Roger Federer in straights to make the final.
Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek took the doubles title over Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna.
In other North American tennis news, on the USTA pro circuit in Tiburon, Florida, Jack Sock won his first Challenger, beating Zverev. James Blake beat Zverev for the title in Sacramento, California last week.
2012 CitiOpen Exclusive Interview: Melanie Oudin on US Open Mixed Doubles Co-Champion Jack Sock, Her Fans
2012 CitiOpen Exclusive Interview: Melanie Oudin on US Open Mixed Doubles Co-Champion Jack Sock, Her Fans
Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com
Despite losing to Aravane Rezai in three sets in first round singles and losing in doubles in a third set super break, Melanie Oudin was still in good spirits as she prepared to depart from the CitiOpen in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday night. After I saw Jack Sock get strong support from the Atlanta crowd at the Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs last December, I wondered if she had anything to do with that.
What is it like to have made Jack Sock an Atlanta celebrity?
He loves the attention. He’s like the new kid on the block. Last year, he finished high school, went on to win Kalamazoo, then got a main draw wild card in the US Open, won a round and got to play Andy Roddick. I mean, he was on Cloud 9. I think he made a great first impression on the crowd, especially at the US Open. I think when you make a great first impression, you gain fans automatically. Especially if you play on Arthur Ashe. Also, he and I were playing together. I know there were a lot of people from Atlanta who went to the Open and saw us play in the mixed doubles. I think he definitely gained some of my fans, also.
How do you cope with all the attention you get at these US tournaments?
It’s really funny. I was just in Europe for a while. Some people know me, but it’s not like the States. It hasn’t been like this for a while. But being here in DC, I don’t know if they advertised me coming here a lot, but whenever I’m walking or even going to watch a match, everyone is coming over. “Oh, There’s Melanie! There’s Melanie! Can we get a picture? Can we get an autograph?”. I’m like “Sure, it’s no problem!”. It’s funny to me. I’ve started to do better again and it really means a lot that the fans I had in 2009 have really stuck with me the last couple of years and are still supporting me.
2012 ATP Atlanta Day 3 Recap: Kunitsyn upsets Baker, Sock, Anderson, Muller advance
Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
The tennis went long and strong last night in Atlanta as some great matches continued until 1:30 this morning.
First: Your main draw qualifiers are Ruben Bemelmans, Sergei Bubka, Ricardas Berankis and Alex Kuznetsov. Berankis needed 3 sets to advance over Rik De Voest 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, and Kuznetsov played hard to earn a win against Ricardo Mello 3-6, 1-6, 6-4.
As for main draw action, it was absolutely thrilling last night. Jack Sock started it off with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win against Alex Bogomolov Jr.
While Bogomolov is the higher ranked player, he has had a really poor year (lost 5 straight matches now) and Sock played pretty strong. Both guys battled while rain threatened and finally the rain did arrive at 4-2 in the 3rd set. While Sock was actually ahead, he never fully seemed comfortable and kept glancing at the sky looking for rain. Bogomolov faced a hostile crowd and seemed a bit irritated by that as well. Sock hit a ton of drop shots. After the one hour r plus rain delay, both guys were slightly less pepped up, but Sock managed to close it out, breaking for the win after being broken in the previous game.
Gilles Muller beat Marinko Matosevic 7-6, 6-4. Both guys play a heavy serve and volley kind of style, so it was a similar match but Matosevic struggled in the heat and was frustrated throughout. Both had plenty of break chances but it was Muller who capitalized more often.
Kevin Anderson followed up Muller’s example on Grandstand and dispatched Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-3. Lorenzi played fine and Anderson was a bit sluggish at the start, but his consistent serve and ability to hold serve won the day.
Steve Johnson won an error-filled contest with Donald Young 6-3 3-6, 6-3. Young continues to just…be Donald Young. Neither played superb tennis but Johnson kept pushing for the win, even after surprisingly dropping the 2nd set.
And in one of the two gripping late matches, Nicolas Mahut advanced over Paul Capdeville 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Mahut started off strong against Capdeville, who seemed a bit out of it, but he found his footing in the 2nd. They were both ripping the ball and really battling all the way until the end. In the end, Capdeville, who had his chances, made just a few too many errors and Mahut was able to capitalize. That match finished after midnight.
Then on a near empty Stadium Court, after even the PA announcer had gone home, Igor Kunitsyn earned one of his best wins of the year in upsetting Brian Baker 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. Baker started out sharp and led 3-0 in the 1st. He was really pushing the ball and it looked like the match wouldn’t last that long. Suddenly, Kunitsyn found his game and just kept pressing and pressing. He served strong to take the 1st set, then fought all the way to a tiebreak in the 2nd, but Baker got off to a fast start in that tiebreak to send it to 3. When many thought Igor would fade, he kept pushing, and it was Baker who ended up fading into the frustration of a late night. Baker’s BB&T bid was over at 1:30 a.m. today. A tired Kunitsyn, one of the nicest, most sportsmanlike guys on the tour, just smiled and winked as he left the court to the delight of the few remaining fans.
BB&T Atlanta Open Day 3 Preview
Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
In addition to final round qualifying action, the 1st round main draw action for both singles and doubles will start on day 3 of the BB&T Atlanta Open.
Jack Sock will start things off against Alex Bogomolov Jr. on Stadium, while Gilles Muller and Marinko Matosevic will battle it out in what should be an entertaining contrast of styles on Grandstand. Steve Johnson and Donald Young will be on stadium after that, and Paolo Lorenzi and Kevin Anderson will duke it out on Grandstand.
Xaiver Malisse and Michael Russell will take on J.P Fruttero and Dmitry Tursunov on court 1 in the opening doubles match of the tournament, followed by doubles matches between Jamie Delgado and Ken Skupski vs. Olivier Charroin and Adil Shamasdin.
The final matches of the day will be Igor Kunitsyn against Brian Baker on stadium and Paul Capdeville vs. Nicolas Mahut on Grandstand.
2012 #ATPNewport: Harrison, Sock Advance; Isner, Nishikori, Raonic, Hewitt On Today @TennisHalloFame
NEWPORT, R.I., July 9, 2012 – On Opening Day at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, Newport fans were treated to some outstanding matches from start to finish. In the first match on center court, young American Jack Sock, who received a wild card into the tournament, came on strong in the first set, winning 7-5 over Russia’s Igor Kunitsyn. After Kunitsyn dominated the second set, winning 6-1, Sock came back to win 6-4, earning his second career tour-level match. The match was Sock’s first since being sidelined with an injury in March, and his first time ever playing on grass courts.
“Last Thursday was my first time hitting on grass in my life, so it was a new experience. But I think it suits my game well. I really enjoyed it out there,” said Sock.
Ryan Harrison and Ruben Bemelmans battled it out in the final match on center court, which kept fans on the edge of their seats and drew many players back to watch. Harrison, a prior quarterfinalist at Newport, overcame Bemelmans in a very close match, 7-6(8), 6-7(5), 7-5.
Newport’s two-time runner up Olivier Rochus advanced, defeating Go Soeda in three sets, and Michael Russell won over Donald Young, also in three sets.
In doubles action, the Aussie pairing of Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione defeated James Cerretani and Matt Ebden, who won the 2011 Newport doubles title with Harrison.
The qualifying round concluded today with Benjamin Becker, Izak Van Der Merwe, Sergei Bubka, and Tim Smyczek earning spots in the main draw.
The first round of the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships continues tomorrow with some of the draw’s biggest names taking to the courts, including defending champion John Isner, who will play Sergei Bubka; Canada’s No. 1 player Milos Raonic versus Matt Ebden, Kei Nishikori versus Igor Sisling, Lleyton Hewitt versus Vasek Pospisil, and Newport’s 2009 finalist Sam Querrey versus Alex Bogomolov, Jr.
RESULTS – JULY 9, 2012
Singles – First Round
 [WC] R Harrison (USA) d R Bemelmans (BEL) 76(8) 67(5) 75
M Russell (USA) d  D Young (USA) 16 61 64
N Mahut (FRA) d M Chiudinelli (SUI) 60 76(2)
[WC] J Sock (USA) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 75 16 64
D Sela (ISR) d F Dancevic (CAN) 60 62
O Rochus (BEL) d G Soeda (JPN) 64 36 63
Doubles – First Round
 S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) d M Matosevic (AUS) / G Zemlja (SLO) 64 76(4)
[WC] C Guccione (AUS) / L Hewitt (AUS) d  J Cerretani (USA) / M Ebden (AUS) 63 64
Qualifying – B Becker (GER) d A Kuznetsov (USA) 26 76(1) 63
Qualifying – I Van der Merwe (RSA) d A Mannarino (FRA) 46 63 64
Qualifying – S Bubka (UKR) d C Brezac (FRA) 63 76(5)
Qualifying – T Smyczek (USA) d D Udomchoke (THA) 63 64
ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012
CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
I Sijsling (NED) vs  K Nishikori (JPN)
 M Raonic (CAN) vs M Ebden (AUS)
 J Isner (USA) vs [Q] S Bubka (UKR)
V Pospisil (CAN) vs [WC] L Hewitt (AUS)
COURT 1 start 11:00 am
 A Bogomolov Jr. (RUS) vs S Querrey (USA)
[Q] T Smyczek (USA) vs  D Istomin (UZB)
G Zemlja (SLO) vs R Ram (USA)
Not Before 3:00 pm
 L Dlouhy (CZE) / N Mahut (FRA) vs J Fruttero (USA) / D Istomin (UZB)
R Ram (USA) / M Russell (USA) vs [Alt] B Becker (GER) / I Kunitsyn (RUS)
COURT 2 start 11:00 am
[Q] B Becker (GER) vs D Goffin (BEL)
[Q] I Van der Merwe (RSA) vs  G Muller (LUX)
M Matosevic (AUS) vs J Levine (USA)
Not Before 3:00 PM
D Goffin (BEL) / O Rochus (BEL) vs A Bogomolov Jr. (RUS) / G Muller (LUX)
No. 2 Canadian player Vasek Pospisil will be part of Team Canada in the Olympic games very soon, but on Monday in Newport his teammates were some aspiring young tennis stars who took part in a kids clinic led by the pro.
Alex Bogomolov, Jr. moved from the grass courts to the pitcher’s mound on Monday, when he threw out the first pitch at the Newport Gulls baseball game.
–Release from A. McLaughlin, ITHoF, Images copyright S. Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com
Jack Sock awarded Wild Card for Newport
The up and coming young American will make his Newport debut and join a strong player field for the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. Other players committed to compete include defending champion John Isner, The Bryan Brothers, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Sam Querrey, Lleyton Hewitt, Donald Young, and Nicolas Mahut.
Jack Sock, one of America’s most exciting rising tennis stars, has been awarded a wild card to play in the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, to be hosted July 9 – 15, 2012 on the grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. At just 19 years old and having competed in only four prior ATP World Tour events, Sock has already caught the attention of the tennis world, and has a major title to his name. In 2011, Sock partnered with fellow American Melanie Oudin to win the US Open mixed doubles title, upsetting veterans and past Grand Slam champions along the way. That same year, he won the USTA Boys’ 18s title and was awarded a wild card into the US Open, where he defeated then No. 97 Marc Gicquel in the first round. Sock has already been awarded a Wild Card for the BB&T Atlanta Championships the following week.
“We have a very strong group of players headed for Newport in just a few short weeks – John Isner, Kei Nishikori, The Bryans, and many more, and it will be great to see one of America’s most exciting young talents in the mix with that field,” said Tournament Director Mark Stenning. “We look forward to welcoming Jack to Newport for his debut on the Hall of Fame grass courts.”
Sock had a strong start to this season, winning a Futures title in Florida in January, and following it up by advancing to the semifinals of another Futures event the following week. Since competing in his first ATP World Tour event at Miami in 2011, Sock has jumped more than 250 spots in the ATP World Tour South African Airways rankings. He is currently at #333.
A talented and successful junior player, Sock won the US Open boys’ singles title in 2010, and then captured 18 USTA National titles in 2010 and 2011. A Nebraska native, Sock graduated from Blue Valley North High School in Kansas in May 2011. He compiled an 80-0 recorded during his high school career and won four consecutive state championships.
This will be Sock’s first appearance in Newport, which is the only tournament on grass courts in North or South America, and offers the only opportunity to see men’s pro tennis in the Northeast before the US Open. In addition to Sock, players slated to compete in Newport include the tournament’s defending champion John Isner, currently ranked world No. 10; the record-setting doubles team of Bob & Mike Bryan, who have 11-time Grand Slam titles to their names; Japan’s No. 1 Kei Nishikori who is currently ranked world No. 20; and world No. 22 Milos Raonic, the No. 1 ranked Canadian player.
–Anne Marie McLaughlin, ITHoF
MORE THAN 20 OF THE TOP 100 PLAYERS IN THE WORLD
Here’s ten more shots from this month’s Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs in Norcross, Georgia. Until a Tumblr account is opened, there is where the photos will come to rest. And Happy New Year, y’all. Thanks for visiting the site in 2011, and special thanks to experienced bloggers and USTA reps for offering advice. Let’s bump into each other next year. See you in Charleston, Newport, DC, Atlanta, NYC, Charlottesville and Knoxville?