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March 18, 2017

Jack Sock

Indian Wells, California


6-1, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You went in and gathered yourself pretty well after the first set, I think. How do you do that? You came back in the second set and played a great match.
JACK SOCK: Yeah. I mean, first one got away from me pretty quick. I think he's been doing that to players pretty consistently this year, the Rafa match and some other ones he's played.

Yeah, he just can get on top of you pretty quick. Just went in, took a minute, regrouped, figured out what changes I needed to make. Executed well on my service game, had a few looks on his serve to get in the game. Didn't execute a few shots there, especially towards end of the second set.

But, yeah, didn't give myself a good look in the breaker, got up a quick mini-break. He played good points at the end and was able to take it.

Q. You had so much success yesterday with your second serve against Nishikori, and today he was winning almost all of the points. Was your serve feeling different or was he handling it different?
JACK SOCK: Height might have something to do with it. You can get up on Kei pretty well. Today it's more here for him. I think it's been something he's been doing so much better this year. In the past, he'd chip a lot of those returns even the last times I played him.

And just watching him in the past, he would just chip a bunch of returns, kind of let you get in the point. Especially for me it would be a good chance for me to find a forehand and start the point off right.

Now he's hitting it over more and putting pressure on you. Especially in the first he was going inside out on the deuce, hitting winners, taking it early on the ad.

But, yeah, I didn't play my service games really the way I wanted to in the first. But like I said, I gave myself chances in the second.

Q. Great tournament. Being the No. 1 American player going into Miami next week, so your confidence must be pretty high.
JACK SOCK: Yeah. I mean, my first semi of a Masters. Yeah, played some good tennis this week. Played some good tennis all year. I have a clear picture of what I want to do when I go out on court.

Yeah, just kind of come to the fact I'm going to go out and play on my terms, win or lose. If I win, it's amazing, you know, move on to the next round. If I lose, I'm okay with going out and playing how I want to play.

In the past, I'd be going out and if I lose, you know, I'd be -- because of the other guy, you know, get in my own way or get in my head. Now I feel like I'm going out and playing relaxed, calm tennis, but on my terms.

Q. What do you think will be the biggest lesson or biggest experience you take away from this particular match and the whole tournament, in general?
JACK SOCK: I just think it's the higher you go, the better player you play. Especially like today, the room for error is so little.

You know, maybe up 30-Love on your serve, playing a loose point, getting back to 30-15 and turns into break in a split second if he comes up with a couple good shots here and there. Then especially on his serve, he doesn't give you anything.

You know, yesterday against Kei I saw some stats. I was keeping the ball very deep on the return and able to kind of neutralize pretty quick. Today I was leaving too many short, and he takes advantage so quick. He's so quick to get to the ball and take time away and puts you under pressure that way.

Next time -- hopefully there is a next time we play, and a few adjustments I'll make, but just the room for error is so small.

Q. You're out there playing a legend, and it's not always easy to do, especially as a younger guy. You had a lot of fan support today. How much did that mean for you to see the fans not only cheering for Roger but you got a huge cheer when you walked off. Was that big for you?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, it was incredible. I have said it all week, this is one of -- this and New York are my two favorite tournaments of the year. The home crowd support is second to none.

Yeah, you know, anywhere Roger plays he's going to be the favorite. I don't care who he's playing and in what country. Yeah, I guess I was a little bit surprised how loud it was. Incredible feeling, gives you goosebumps every time you hear it, especially walking off.

Makes me even more excited coming back here every year. It truly is special to play in front of them.

Q. With your success in singles this year, how does that change your projections for what you're going to do in doubles this year?
JACK SOCK: I mean, I think I stated it last year. I'm not playing the slams anywhere, no more doubles there. I'll just pick and choose throughout. I'll play a lot of the Masters.

I'll play, you know, if it's possible to play a doubles match before singles at a tournament like this just to get time on court, get a little feel for it. I'll play Miami and then won't play again until -- I'll play Miami and then I'll next play Madrid, Rome, and then maybe -- then Atlanta I'm playing with my brother this summer.

Q. (No audio feed. Question about race for points.)
JACK SOCK: We are in March right now. Who knows? Still have seven, eight months to play. I mean, yeah, I mean, I guess, you know, results-wise you've seen some earlier exits by those guys, the top guys. But, yeah, that doesn't mean none of them can't turn around and win Miami next week and win every other tournament they play.

I think there is definitely more room for the other guys to come in and get those results as you have been seeing this year a little bit.

But, yeah, I mean, it's early. It's hard to tell.

Q. Your career week notwithstanding, I want to make sure we touch on the important matter of your facial hair, whether you call that a chin strap or a chin curtain, and if it's an homage to great American Abraham Lincoln?
JACK SOCK: Ah, where to start. Never heard of a chin curtain, so I won't comment on that. Chin strap, I don't think I'm fully there yet because I just cut it down a few days ago. It's growing fast.

Yeah, usually I don't shave during a tournament, but I did it a few days ago. I don't know. Just hot out here. Thought I'd lose a little weight on the face.

No, I don't know. I always have a little bit, for sure. I think it's uncomfortable to go razor and cream and go full shave. So I always have a little bit.

Q. You have done very well here, and you've also been part of a historic draw, really, one that I think will be remembered for quite a while. What are your thoughts on that? How memorable and important is this to you?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, it will be, you know, forever my first semi of a Masters at Indian Wells. You know, like I said, one of my favorite tournaments against, I think, the greatest to play our sport. For sure, it will for sure be a memory for all time.

Hopefully it's one I can top sooner than later, maybe next year or next week, or Madrid or, I mean, any of them. I mean, to do it here, at one of my favorite tournaments where I have family and friends around, yeah, it was a special week, for sure.

Yeah, I mean, there were definitely some crazy results this week and probably not the way you guys all thought the draw would pan out, but, yeah, I'm happy I'm still sitting here talking to you guys.

Q. At the net, Roger's ball hit your body and then...
JACK SOCK: Sure did. Hit me in the neck.

Q. A moment like that, do you feel upset or you can forget quickly?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I was so mad (smiling). I mean, I played a good point, one of the few points I got into his service game, had some chances and able to attack him. It's tennis. It's Roger. He's one of the nicest guys on tour. There is nothing you can do but laugh and smile a little bit.

Yeah, it was -- yeah, came off the net, didn't expect it to come off that hot. Usually it kind of pops up. I was more expecting that. It came off kind of quick and got me right on the side of the neck. Just something you laugh at and go to the next point.

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