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May 29, 2014

Jack Sock


J. SOCK/S. Johnson
7‑5, 6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  Jack, third round at the US Open a couple times.  Now in Paris.  What does it mean to you?  How do you feel about the way you played today?
JACK SOCK:  Yeah, always means a lot obviously when you can advance in slams, and to be able to make third round now in another one other than the Open feels good.
I love this tournament.  I love the red clay.  It's my favorite surface.  I feel pretty comfortable on it, so I think that confidence is helping me in these matches and I think it shows.

Q.  Is this your favorite surface?  Can you elaborate on why that is?  You can't have seen much red clay growing up.
JACK SOCK:  Yeah, haven't played on it much, the actual red clay, but I think my game is suited for it very well with serve and forehand kind of getting up and kind allowing me to have time to kind of run around and giving me space and enabling me to use my strengths well.
I think my movement on it is even better than maybe hard courts and stuff.  I feel very comfortable on it, so...

Q.  You know Johnson pretty well.  What's that like to go out there against a guy you know pretty well at a tournament like this?
JACK SOCK:  Yeah, not easy.  I'm not one to get nervous before I play usually.  Usually pretty relaxed.  But it was probably a little bit more today just knowing I'm playing him after his battle the other day.
I was living in L.A. for a while and practicing with him a bunch and working out and all that, so we've gotten pretty close.  It's never easy playing friends, but it's another battle out there, and I was fortunate enough to get through.

Q.  Are you going to forgive him for the body blow?
JACK SOCK:  No, there just wasn't much room I guess to hit it, so he had to go at me.

Q.  Just the whole court either side, right?
JACK SOCK:  Yeah, it's all right.  It is what it is.

Q.  So situation like this is a big opportunity for you.  The draw isn't brutal as it might have been in some other situations.  Are you aware of that?  How do you deal with that mentally?  Anything different than anything else that you've dealt with before?
JACK SOCK:  Yeah, I've heard people talk and stuff, but it is what it is.  I don't like to look ahead.  I just know play Lajovic next.  It will be another battle.  Obviously he is a younger talented player playing well, so I'm going to have to go out there and play my best to win.

Q.  You said you didn't play a lot on clay, but the USTA are encouraging more clay courts to be built and to practice on it.  In your training, how much are you seeing clay?  How is it maybe helping you?  Are you seeing more clay action?
JACK SOCK:  I mean, other than this time of year, I mean, we practice on it some, but pretty rarely.
I mean, I think it helps the training in the fact that it's just easier on the body.  Obviously when you're playing on the hard courts all the time and pounding away, knees, whatever it is, feet, they can get pretty sore and take a good beating.
I think any time you can get on the clay and soften the blows to the body and the legs it can definitely help.

Q.  How happy should we be with three Americans in the third round here in Paris?
JACK SOCK:  That's for you guys to decide.  I'm happy I'm in the third round and happy for the other guys that have made it in the third round.  We're all just working hard and pushing forward to keep advancing.

Q.  In a country with the rich tradition that we have, I mean, now it's sort of like, Wow, we have three guys.  It's good news, but how does that sound?
JACK SOCK:  Once again, it just is what it is.  We're all obviously happy to be here.  Like I say, we're all working hard.  We come to these tournaments to win matches, and we believe in ourselves that we can win matches and play in the second week and keep advancing.
I think the three of you that are remaining are doing a good job right now, and can hopefully keep it going.

Q.  Do you agree with USTA's approach to clay as a way to make players today and have juniors have a lot of contact with it?  We've had a lot of players in the past history that haven't done that, but how about now?
JACK SOCK:  I think the balance of it can help for sure.  I mean, growing up myself I only played a few tournaments a year.  The nationals that we traveled to would be the only times really on clay.
Yeah, I think if the kids start younger maybe then the American mentality, attitude about clay can hopefully turn to a positive.  We can really get used to it.
I think it's a fun surface to play on.¬† I really enjoy it.¬† I think when you get used to it can be‑‑ I mean, it's a decent part of the schedule every year, so if the players coming up and growing up, and the guys now, if you want to be successful, you got to be able to compete on it for these few months.¬† You just to have accept it and enjoy it.

Q.  Seems to be that's the way you learn how to create points and really understand the geometry of the court other than playing on something fast where one big shot might create a whole...
JACK SOCK:  Yeah, I mean, obviously slows it down a lot and the points are definitely longer.  Yeah, you can definitely develop strategies and patterns more on the clay.
Hopefully the kids growing up can get used to it and practice on it more.

Q.  Do you consider green and red clay pretty different?
JACK SOCK:  Yeah, a lot different, I would say.  I mean, it's great for practicing and the tournaments they play it on, but there is just something about the red clay.  It's just a little bit smoother and not as many bad bounces, I think.  Just a little bit more true.
The green clay is kind of one of the ‑‑ not one of the jokes, but once you kind of slide on it it's hard to stop.¬† It's pretty grainy.¬† Yeah, when you get over here and play on the true red clay, it's a different world, I think.

Q.  What was your first tournament on red clay this year?  When did you come over?
JACK SOCK:  This year it was Rome, Rome quallies.

Q.  If you like clay and red clay, why didn't you come over earlier and try to qualify or...
JACK SOCK:  Yeah, I mean, I played Houston and then just decided to play a few challengers there and try and get some matches and then come over here.
Yeah, I was planning on playing Madrid as well, but, yeah, just decided to come over for Rome.

Q.  Did you watch Andre when he won the French Open on TV?
JACK SOCK:  I've seen highlights.  I didn't watch it myself in person, but I've definitely seen a bunch of highlights.

Q.  What is your earliest French Open memory as a viewer?
JACK SOCK:  I remember watching Guga play.  I remember watching his loud grunts and ten feet behind the baseline and not missing and running everything down.  I think that was my first real memories of it.

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