American Jack Sock was made to work hard for his second career title on Saturday in Auckland, New Zealand, in the final defeating Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 for the ASB Classic championship.
The 24-year-old Sock, the No. 4 seed, improved to 2-4 in career finals, adding to the Houston title from 2015.
The two traded breaks early in the third set before Sock ran with the lead to eventually clinch the decider 6-3.
“I’ve had chances,” Sock said of his six trips to ATP World Tour finals. “I’ve lost in a few finals. Winning the whole tournament is definitely a massive confidence booster.
“I was able to put in a lot of work in the off-season and I think it paid off. I was able to make lots of gains and lots of strides forward. I think it really showed this week.”
Twelve months ago Sock lost to Spaniard Roberto Bautusta Agut in the Auckland final.
En route to the final the unseeded Sousa toppled No. 5 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas and No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis.
“I think I didn’t play a great match,” said Sousa. “He was very confident and he serves very well, and I think that was the key of the match.”
The 27-year-old Sousa fell to 2-6 in career finals, with his last title coming at 2015 Valencia.
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