Sock ousts Cilic from Open in third-round upset

Fri Sep 2, 2016 5:49pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American Jack Sock knocked former champion Marin Cilic out of the U.S. Open on Friday in a power-packed 6-4 6-3 6-3 third-round victory at Flushing Meadows.

Sock, who battled back from a two-set deficit to beat the Croat in a Davis Cup duel in July, was impeccable on serve as he did not face a single break point while converting four of six break opportunities against the seventh-seeded Cilic.

"My first time in the fourth round here," 26th seed Sock said in an on-court interview after dismissing the 2014 U.S. Open winner. "It was a big match for me, a big goal of mine."

Sock came to Flushing Meadows riding a high as a double medalist at the Rio Olympics with hopes to maintain the momentum after claiming a bronze in doubles with compatriot Steve Johnson and gold in mixed doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

With his win at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the 23-year-old Sock matched his previous best grand slam advance, having reached the fourth round at last year's French Open.

His opponent in the last 16 will be ninth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a straight sets winner against South African 23rd seed Kevin Anderson.

"There's nothing better than playing in front of the home crowd here in New York," Sock said. "I put it out there on the line on every point."

Sock blasted 10 forehand winners, often in big moments, and served seven aces to six for the big-hitting Cilic, and won 86 percent of the first serves he put in play.   Continued...

Aug 31, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Jack Sock of the United States returns a shot to Mischa Zverev of Germany on day three of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports