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August 31, 2011

Jack Sock


J. SOCK/M. Gicquel
6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Good effort today. You must be very happy with yourself.
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I'm happy. Yeah.

Q. Looked like when he came back and won the third set like maybe it was slipping away from you a little bit. He was starting to smack the ball pretty well. Were you concerned at that point?
JACK SOCK: I think he found a decent rhythm in the third. He broke me pretty early. I think I might have lost some timing or something. I took a bathroom break. Had to go change and go to the bathroom, came back, and kind of started slow.
He got an early break. From there he just got his rhythm and played well. Then I just started the fourth set all over.

Q. Were you worried in the fourth set that it was slipping away when he broke you?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, I guess, no, I wouldn't say 'worried.' I was probably more alert after I got broken, for sure. He was serving pretty well. I knew I had to buckle down, get the break back and stay in the set, which I did.
Then just played a pretty good set from there. Finally got the break at the end.

Q. The crowd was really behind you. Did that really propel you?
JACK SOCK: Yes, obviously it helps. Being at the US Open is the biggest stage for the Americans by far. Obviously, I mean, I really like the new court. It's a sweet atmosphere. Kind of you're down lower playing, but there are people right there by you.
So I think it really helped. Yeah, obviously when you have encouragement it's always a boost for you.

Q. What was tougher, winning this match today or winning Kalamazoo back to back?
JACK SOCK: I mean, they're both tough. I mean, obviously it's a little bit different level of play. The juniors, I felt like I could dictate more and play pretty aggressive. My opponent tonight hits the ball pretty flat and deep. Can't really get a great rhythm with him.
But I'd say they're probably both equally as tough.

Q. How well do you know Roddick, who is winning at the moment?
JACK SOCK: Decent. I mean, I wouldn't say we're really good friends. I say hi, talk a little bit. It helps that, I mean, we're both from Nebraska. I met him when I was really young at a Husker football game. I've met him here and there since.
Spent a little time with him, practiced with him a couple times. But other than that, we're just pretty much friends.

Q. Have you practiced with him?
JACK SOCK: Not this year. I haven't practiced with him this year, no. Last year or the year before.

Q. In Austin or on the road?
JACK SOCK: No, in Florida.

Q. Did you choose red and white specifically because they're Husker colors?
JACK SOCK: No, but this line of adidas is awesome. They're my favorite colors.

Q. So what's being said about the climate of the Americans at the US Open. I'm sure you hear about it, too. Had an HBO special on it a couple weeks ago. Does that propel you younger guys saying, Watch out for the Americans? I know two of the girls made the third round; you won today. Does that propel you a little bit?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, I think it's a pretty good team we have. Obviously, the young guys and girls we have coming up are, as you can see, having good results. Christina has had an amazing summer; she's had incredible wins. Ryan had a very good summer. They went deep in a lot of tournaments.
But I think overall I think we're all -- yeah, I think we all strive off each other and push off each other. We all want to see each other do well. I mean, obviously it helps when someone else is doing well; you also want to do well.

Q. You insisted on playing high school tennis.
JACK SOCK: I did, I did.

Q. What was your record?
JACK SOCK: Ended up being 80-0.

Q. Falconi carried an American flag onto Arthur Ashe today after she won.
JACK SOCK: Really?

Q. What kind of superstitions or things do you do to prepare for a match? Anything that's constant?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, but it's not -- I mean, I don't carry an American flag on the court, but I'll usually get by myself close to the match, listen to music.
But usually a little bit before the match I'll talk to my friends. My brother's here with me, a friend from Kansas City, relatives, my dad and stuff. I'll get around them and get in a relaxed mindset. Kind of be happy, get positive.
Then right before the match listen to music by myself, kind of get focused. Then that's probably the only thing that's constant.

Q. You working closely with the Player Development Program or doing your own thing?
JACK SOCK: Uhm, I'm not really permanent anywhere right now. Coach Berger and Coach Higueras are helping me at this tournament.
After the Open, I'm just going to reassess and see what I'm going to do. I don't have any set plans yet.

Q. You've turned pro?

Q. Was that a tough decision or not?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, it was a lingering decision. It went on for a while. Felt my game was ready. I was excited to travel the world and play and play my favorite sport, the sport I love.
Now I'm happy I'm doing it.

Q. Do you think college is something you'll eventually want to go to?
JACK SOCK: Maybe. It's an option. It's something in the back of my head. For now, hopefully for a long career, I'm just going to focus on tennis and see where it takes me.

Q. Your parents were fine with that decision?
JACK SOCK: Yeah. Yeah, they were. They were supportive. When I did it they obviously had their input. In the end, they're happy for me.

Q. Did you leave any scholarships on the table to go pro?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I got offered scholarships from numerous schools. In the end I was either going to go to Nebraska and join my brother and play for whoever knows how many years or turn pro.
I think I'm a guy that likes to, when I start something, finish it. So I think if I went to college I was probably going to want to finish it, get a degree, get an education. I put that aside.

Q. You feel physically ready for it?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, that's a process. I definitely feel a lot better about the physicality. Out there playing I felt good tonight, but obviously it's a work in progress. I still have a long ways to go, but I feel better about it.

Q. Your brother plays for the Nebraska tennis team?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, yeah.

Q. Was it a tough decision for you to make? Did you agonize over it?
JACK SOCK: I mean, not all along. Even after I won the juniors here last year I was telling myself I was going to go to college. And then I think once my game developed and once I was doing things well in practice and getting some results out on the futures, challengers, lower-level ATP tournaments, I just felt ready. I felt everything came together. I felt very good about my game.
Here I am.

Q. I guess you could play the juniors this year, too.
JACK SOCK: No. The year you turn 19. I turn 19 in a month.

Q. It's there any relief, even though you're young, having gotten a Grand Slam win under your belt?
JACK SOCK: Yeah. I mean, obviously I'm happy about it. I thought I played pretty well, played a good match. I'm happy about it. I'll probably be happy the rest of the night and then start again tomorrow and practice.
I don't know if I have mixed tomorrow or not. But, yeah, I'm happy about it. Then just look forward to the next match.

Q. Who you playing with in mixed?
JACK SOCK: Melanie Oudin.

Q. Do you come into the US Open with goals?
JACK SOCK: I mean, I'm coming in looking to win. I mean, I wouldn't enter a tournament, come to a tournament, if I didn't think I could win some matches.
Yeah, I came here to win some matches, get some experience. I came here to learn a lot, being only my second Grand Slam, still being young, recently turning pro and stuff, yeah.
Yeah, I mean, I'm looking to win, but also just play my best tennis and learn.

Q. Who are your heroes as far as tennis is concerned and who do you like here at the Open?
JACK SOCK: Heroes? I mean, I liked the Americans growing up, Andre and Pete. I think they were pretty inspiring to me to get out there and practice and start tennis and play.
Then here, I like to watch everyone here. I like to watch matches in general. Anytime there's something on, I'll usually watch.

Q. There's another sport in Nebraska considerably more important than tennis. How does a kid from Nebraska end up being focused on tennis just to get into the mix at the junior level?
JACK SOCK: I mean, I played a bunch of different sports growing up. I was very active, athletic. I mean, I played everything. I played soccer and tennis till probably 10, 11, and then I chose tennis. I think it's worked out so far pretty well.
I mean, my dad was a big golfer. So, I mean, that's a sport I like to play in my off time, when I can, to relax. But, yeah, I think I just made the decision at an early age and took it full force and just went out there and traveled and played.

Q. So no football?
JACK SOCK: I'd get broken in half. That wouldn't go so well.

Q. You're a big enough guy.
JACK SOCK: Maybe a receiver.

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