Former World No. 8 Jack Sock appears to be back on track.
The American battled hard to win his first Grand Slam singles match since the 2018 US Open on Monday, defeating Uruguayan shotmaker Pablo Cuevas 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2) to reach the second round of the same event at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Entering this year’s Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com, Sock had lost 10 of 11 matches at all levels and he did not own a FedEx ATP Ranking. But in Florida he ousted defending champion Radu Albot in a final-set tie-break. Just weeks later he reached the final of the ATP Challenger Tour event held at Indian Wells.
The COVID-19 pandemic stopped the 27-year-old’s momentum as play was suspended for more than five months. But World No. 389 Sock hit 51 winners in his three-hour, 15-minute victory against the Uruguayan.
Cuevas had won the pair’s two previous ATP Head2Head meetings, including a straight-sets win at last year’s US Open. But Sock capitalised on four of his six break points to advance. He will next play 32nd seed Adrian Mannarino, against whom he has won four of five matches.
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Another American who advanced on the first day of the year’s second Grand Slam was Taylor Fritz. The 19th seed rallied past German Dominik Koepfer, who made the fourth round at Flushing Meadows last year, 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Fritz has now won his opening match at seven of the past eight majors. He will try to reach the third round in New York for the second time when he faces former World No. 6 Gilles Simon. The Frenchman eased past Egyptian Mohamed Safwat 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
#NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima earned his first Grand Slam win on his major debut, eliminating 38-year-old Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(3). The newly-turned 19-year-old won his first ATP Tour matches earlier this year in Delray Beach, where he made the quarter-finals.
“It feels great. Definitely been waiting for this to happen,” Nakashima said. “I think I played a really good match today and it was great to get my first Grand Slam win.”