Nick Kyrgios and fellow tennis star American Jack Sock are well-known for their off-court bromance. Sock recently posted an “eyes” emoji in reaction to a comment from Frances Tiafoe who commented underneath Krygios’ Instagram announcement that he would be captaining the John McEnroe team at the Laver Cup this year.
Also a believer in pickleball, Kyrgios is a co-owner of the Miami Pickleball Club with Naomi Osaka and Mardy Fish.
Kyrgios has now heaped praise on Sock after watching the American reach the men’s singles quarter-finals of his maiden pickleball tournament.
Kyrgios posted “My boy @jack.sock already making pickle ball plays on ESPN.”
Sock was participating in the OS1st North Carolina Open held in Charlotte last weekend. Forbes.com caught up with Sock before the tournament and asked how he was feeling about participating:
“Singles is the event that’s gonna take me a decent time to get my feet wet. I’m confident in my abilities but for a first tournament, it will take a second to get used to.”
Sock avoided the qualifiers and received a wild card directly into the main draw. His first opponent was #13 seed Anton Gudz, also from North Carolina. Gudz is notable for also having a PhD in Chemistry.
Forbes.com’s Todd Boss provided some in-depth analysis of the former tennis pro’s pickleball game:
“Sock utilized a “chip and charge” approach on his service returns, taking advantage of his ability to really undercut and slice a ball to get great positioning at the net. He was also able to use his regular tennis topspin-heavy approach to hit deep, dipping passing shots. Sock showed really solid skills at the net, drawing from his significant pro tennis doubles experience, and used his 6’3” length to provide coverage of passing attempts. At first glance, he looks like a pretty formidable singles player.”
Sock defeated Gudz 11-8, 11-4, and then faced the little-known Naveen Beasley. Sock’s play at the net dismantled Beasley and he won 11-2, 11-2 to reach the quarters.
Savvy #12 seed Jake Kusmider was waiting for him there. A closely-contested first game went to Sock 11-9. Kusmider hit back to win the second game 11-5 and take us into the breaker. Although Kusmider took a 10-0 lead in the third, Sock came back off the ropes and took the next seven points. It wasn’t to be, however, and a clean backhand winner gave Kusmider the game 11-7.
Sock wasn’t done even after his fine performance in the tournament, and he won the gold medal in the mixed doubles alongside 16-year-old superstar and World Number One Anna Leigh Waters. They defeated #3 seeds Anna Bright and James Ignatowich along the way and beat Allyce Jones and Riley Newman in the final.
Post match interview: Jack is coming back 💪 and A.L. was pumped about ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/zeEbC312oo— CARVANA PPA TOUR (@PPAtour) May 7, 2023
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