In the end it was all a bit much for Jack Sock.
Amazed at how he steamrolled top-seeded David Ferrer after being a set down in the Friday semifinals, and marveling at his victory while suffering through what could be a cold or the beginning of the flu, Sock could not duplicate such magic in the Saturday final.
Trailing 1-6, 0-1 in the ASB Classic Auckland final to Roberto Bautista Agut, Sock threw in the towel, and thankfully not the sweat-soaked socks he was giving to fans after victories in Auckland, conceding the title to the Spaniard.
“I feel so happy,” said Bautista Agut after claiming his third career title, and adding another American scalp to his week’s tally that included John Isner and Donald Young. “I think I had an amazing week. I had plenty of good wins, played wonderful tennis here. I feel sorry for Jack and I want to congratulate him because he had a really great year last year, and I want to wish him luck for the rest of this season.”
Sock said playing deeper into his ilness was like “an out of body experience,” adding, “I don’t feel like I’m really here.”
While the 23-year-old Sock drops to 1-2 in career finals, his impressive progression is apparent, considering all three finals have come in the last nine months — winning Houston, and runner-up in Stockholm and now Auckland.
Bautista Agut’s progression is likewise astounding considering he was won three straight finals over the last few months to improve to 3-4 in career championship rounds after an 0-4 start. The 27 year old won in Moscow and Valencia at the end of 2015, and now Auckland.
Bautista Agut entered the week at No. 25 on the ATP Rankings, and Sock at No. 26.
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