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September 21, 2018

Jack Sock

Frances Tiafoe

Chicago, Illinois


6-4, 5-7, 10-6

Team Europe - 2

Team World - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Bad luck, guys. Kicking on from Prague, your team still seems to have the most fun. Does that help you enjoy the whole situation more with the kind of fun support you get?
JACK SOCK: Yeah. I mean, not too happy right now, personally. We have Foe here and we have the fellowship in the locker room. Guys keep the spirits high, that's for sure.

Very disappointed in myself for not pulling that one out. But credit to Kyle who played extremely well, I thought, the first set and a half. Able to use the crowd a bit and play better and then played a shocking tiebreak. It happens. That's my year so far.

Q. Jack, coming in, you're leaving from a Grand Slam title, US Open, coming in here. Obviously disappointing today but the good news is you don't go home. You're still on the team. You still have work to do. You have the team behind you. How is that helping you right now to cope?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, it's great. I mean, this is probably my favorite week of the year, to be honest, other than New York. I love the US Open. But outside of that, I look forward to this, especially after last year and what we experienced.

But, yeah, just having the team atmosphere, hanging with the guys, we never get to do it, never get to play for each other and support each other and sit on a bench throughout a full match and help each other out. I look forward to it.

And then as a doubles specialist these days, hopefully I can help out the team at night with those half-court wins.

Q. Along those lines, what is it going to be like to be on the other side of those legends tonight?
JACK SOCK: They are two tennis players. I mean, yeah, Roger is the GOAT, in my opinion, and Novak has had an incredible career. It would probably be different if we didn't play Roger and Rafa last year, so I already had a taste of that, which will help tonight.

Still going to go out and rep Team World and try to get a win no matter who we are playing. Yeah, I guess it will be cool to play them.

Q. Did you hit peak frustration in the tiebreaker when you hit that ball? You almost made it to the 300 level, which would have been pretty impressive. At that point, just frustration or what was happening?
JACK SOCK: Just spazzed real quick (smiling). No, I was trying to just get a shout out to Jordan up there and his banner.

No, yeah, obviously I was pretty frustrated when I had a sick end of the second set with the crowd and then had an unreal start and got down 7-1 in the breaker. I was pretty happy (smiling).

Q. In the Midwest, Chicago is a pretty important place, kind of a magnet or whatever. As a kid, would you come here?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I played a tournament at Midtown Club we practiced at the other day, growing up when I was 14. I have had a taste of Chicago before. I haven't been here, I don't think since, but it's always been one of my favorite cities. Especially when the weather is nice, this is an incredible place. I was really excited when I heard it was here and then obviously when I heard I was on the team, as well. Yeah, this city is sweet.

Q. Just talk about, I don't know, the art of playing with different doubles partners, going from Mike to Ryan and now to Kevin. Talk about that process and what do you do as a doubles player?
JACK SOCK: I just do what I do there. I do the same thing with all the guys. I usually play with people I can have fun with and my friends. John, Nick, my buddy Jackson I grew up with. We played Delray. Foe hasn't accepted my invite yet to play (smiling). Maybe one day.

But, yeah, I just play with people I can have fun with and relax. That's probably why I play pretty good doubles. If I can relax on the singles court, that would probably help.

Q. I'm sure that you and Bryan thought you might do well, but it's been an incredible year, two slams together now. What's it been like? An amazing drive.
JACK SOCK: Yeah, it's been cool. Yeah, it's tough. You know, I'm almost more happy for him than myself. Obviously there is satisfaction winning a slam at any level, but just with the way my year has been going on the singles court, you know, I probably haven't, you know, had the full satisfaction from or realization of, you know, what we have done. I'm just focused on trying to turn my year around in singles and get some wins, get back on track.

But, yeah, I mean, right now I maybe don't realize it as much, but maybe down the road hopefully when I have a family, that would probably be a pretty cool thing to look back on.

Q. Nice move with the Bulls jersey in warmups.
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I had planned that as soon as we had those jerseys in my room.

Q. Frances, five days ago you were playing on red clay in Croatia. How big a problem was the transfer?
FRANCES TIAFOE: It was definitely not ideal. You got the call, you got to come. Great fellowship seeing all the guys.

Obviously I get a message from Jack, Are you coming? And obviously seeing how pumped up he is and Nick and everyone. There's not a better week than this one. You know, I had to come.

Doesn't matter where I came from. No excuses. Grigor played great today. All credit goes to him. But we still got a chance.

Q. You brought part of your cheering section here with you with Foe. And Team Europe coined Chardy their main cheer guy on the side. Today it looked like it was Nick for you guys. Can you explain to us why that isn't at all surprising that he's up there jumping up with you?
JACK SOCK: I think we're all pretty hyped. We showed it last year. Other than Shapo (smiling).

No, I grew up playing team sports. He played team sports. Nick played -- John played team sports. Everyone at some point probably in their youth played team sports. We understand that aspect of it and kind of thrive in it, I think all of us a little bit, since we never get to.

Also, we are all massive sports fans so we see March Madness celebrations, NFL touchdown celebrations, current dances, everything. We try to throw it all out there. Obviously, I honestly think that helped us last year get close. Yeah, I mean, it hasn't been the ideal start, but the celebrations will be coming.


Q. How did the hip feel? How did the hip hold up? Secondly, there is more for grabs as this competition goes on. Does that take a little bit of the sting away from today?
JACK SOCK: First part is I would say it felt average. Afterwards it felt terrible. The adrenaline, I think, obviously helps when you're on court. Then when you have Jordan's house chanting your name, it obviously helps a little bit with the pain. It's getting better probably by the day, hopefully. Not really, but...

Secondly, yeah, you know, I wasn't surprised with some of the results I have had this year that I was playing on Friday when it was maybe only worth one point. Nothing really helps ever other than your girlfriend after being nice and being positive with you.

FRANCES TIAFOE: Just hold me.

JACK SOCK: Just love me, please. (Laughter.)

Outside of that, I mean -- I mean, not really, to be honest. It stings pretty bad.

Q. Just a quick follow-up on your reference to playing team sports as a kid. Could you just tell us what kind of team sports you played? And then what is the essence of what was cool about that that maybe you get a little flavor of here in this format?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, I played basketball, I played baseball, played soccer and tennis. Well, soccer is my main one. I was traveling playing soccer as a kid.

And then, yeah, fell in love with tennis. But it was a decision, you know, early on whether to go soccer route or tennis route.

I probably chose the right one. After today, maybe not (smiling).

But, yeah, you have your teammates there. Especially if you're playing tennis for this long it can get pretty lonely, traveling by yourself a lot of the time. You have your physios and coaches and stuff around throughout the year, but just to look over and see the guys supporting you and going crazy, it's just nice having the support of all them around.

Obviously when you're on the court, you're out there by yourself. Now we are during the match, but, you know, you can look over and high-five them and talk to the coach whenever you want.

Yeah, it's a cool feeling.

Q. This is a very general question for both of you. We see in tennis the international aspect, the competition, the athleticism. What do you guys, when it comes down to it, love the most about the sport that you play? Can you put that into words?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Seeing Jack Sock every week.

JACK SOCK: Seeing Foe on the come-up.

FRANCES TIAFOE: It's the one competition knowing you have to outcompete somebody else. I really like that. A bunch of people watching and going to war with another person. I enjoy that.

JACK SOCK: Just the competing aspect. I mean, I would hope to be in sport, in any sport. If you told me I could be a pro in another sport -- you know, I love tennis, obviously. Been playing it my whole life. As long as I can compete, I'm fine, whether it's tennis, soccer, playing for the Timberwolves with Jimmy (smiling).

No, I mean, any sport, really. Just as long as I can compete I'm happy. Sports is always going to be a part of my life. But, yeah, just happened to be the best at tennis, I guess.

Q. What's it like to go from singles to doubles in the same day? Difficult transition at all?
FRANCES TIAFOE: He lives for it.

JACK SOCK: Not really. I mean, same lines, same balls. You just have another guy with you.

I don't know. I mean, I have obviously done it a lot at tournaments. But, I mean, it's not too much different. I've never played with Kevin. That will be a new experience.

He's got a monstrous serve, hits the ball very clean, can take returns early. He's definitely going to be a weapon out there. Hopefully we just feed off each other and feed off the crowd. Get that Fighting Illini support and see how it goes.

Yeah, there's nothing, you know, too special about it.

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