Sock Stuns Choking Zverev To Reach ATP Semis; Goffin v Thiem Fri For Final SF Spot
by Staff | November 16th, 2017, 10:47 pm

Jack Sock shook off a point penalty for ball abuse early in the opening game of the third set by reeling off four straight games and eventually stun favorite Alexander Zverev 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.

Sock’s win eliminates Zverev from the competition and puts the American in the semifinals in his debut at the ATP Finals.

“I choked. It’s quite easy. Won the second set 6-1. I was 1-0 with a break. He got a point penalty. I was down 1-4 within 10 minutes where I didn’t put many balls in the court,” Zverev said. “So, yeah, I just choked.”

After dropping a tight first set, Zverev found the range on the backhand and ran away with the second. Then he immediately broke Sock to open the third. But following the break, Sock smacked a ball out of the court, his second such instance of the match, drawing a point penalty.

That proved the turning point, oddly not for Zverev, but for Sock who seized the momentum as Zverev unravelled.

Sock, who was ranked No. 24 just a few weeks ago before claiming the final berth on the final day by winning Paris, will now face Grigor Dimitrov after a day off on Friday. He’s won seven of his last eight matches.

“I’m playing with house money. I’m going out there and letting loose, having fun, trying to put on a show a little bit, just enjoy my time,” Sock said.

In the early match, Roger Federer maintained his dominance over Marin Cilic with a 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-1 win to improve to 8-1 against the Croat.

“It wasn’t easy. I mean, look, it’s a fast court. It’s indoors. We’ve seen it now: when you miss a few too many opportunities, you can really pay the price at this tournament. So we’ve seen some swings of momentum in a lot of the matches this week,” Federer said.

“I think in the beginning I was slightly overaggressive in the first set on some crucial points rather than maybe being patient. I was able to turn that around late in the second set. Then just had a much better feeling in the third set.

“Maybe also Marin’s level dropped, I’m not sure. But definitely was dangerous there for a while.”

Federer had already clinched the top seed in the Boris Becker. Meanwhile, Cilic slumped to 1-8 career at the ATP Finals event, going 0-3 this year.

“Even though it’s three losses, I felt that my tennis wasn’t too far off of playing really, really well. Good positives at least in that. Hopefully I’m going to recover good and start a new season on a good level,” Cilic said.

Federer will have a day of rest Friday before returning on Saturday in the semifinals to face either David Goffin or Dominic Thiem.

Tomorrow, Thiem and Goffin will battle for the final semifinal berth. Goffin leads 6-3 but the Belgian has to worry about burnout ahead of a Davis Cup finals tilt next weekend in France.

“I know him really well,” Goffin said. “I practice really often with Dominic. Yeah, I have already an idea with the tactics against him because I played so many times against him. We played a lot of good matches against each other.

“It’s not going to be easy, but I’m going to watch his match first tonight.”

Added Thiem on the matchup, “We had some big, important matches in the past. Also in the deep rounds of slams. This one’s going to be another one. We know each other very well. He played a very good match here, one very bad match. I don’t know what to expect. I’m hoping that it’s going to be a tough match, and I’m trying everything to go through to the semis.

“He’s taking the balls very early. He’s giving me not much time. Especially on this little bit faster surface, it’s tough for me. Yeah, so I try to be the first to hurt him and not the other way around.”

The last match of the round robin pits the undefeated Grigor Dimitrov against alternate Pablo Carreno Busta. The Spaniard beat Dimitrov at the French Open this year. Dimitrov has already won the group and will meet Sock on Saturday.

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Dimitrov Dominates Goffin To Reach ATP SFs; Zverev v Sock Thurs
ATP Finals Preview: Nadal Seeks First London Title, Federer An 8th
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33 Comments for Sock Stuns Choking Zverev To Reach ATP Semis; Goffin v Thiem Fri For Final SF Spot

lylenubbins Says:

What a weird tournament. Perversely, players that had less than stellar years have an advantage because they have gas left in the tank. Big respect to Fed for being the exception.

Margot Says:

AM: Oh great, wise woman and predictor of tennis results….I salute you!
Terrible match TBH. I suppose it was sweet for Wee Gee after being cut and pasted by GG. Good luck against Fed, Wee Gee, you’re gonna need it.

AndyMira Says:

M!…Hahahahaha!….You’re exaggerated!Hehe…I’m not wise at all M!…Incidentally,i still remembered how terrible our Dear Preppy was after the clay season was finished…I think he only passed the 2nd Rd for the last 2,3 Tourneys..before that he got bundled out in the 1st Rd for 6 or 7 straight Tourneys..So,he came to London while he’s still very much in a funk…and his result proved that…

Bout Wee Gee…maybe he get a chance against Rog..and maybe not…I read,Jamie Delgado said Roger maybe got some niggling on his body…But,Wee Gee’s game IMO still not very impressive..he needs to up his level greatly if want a score against Rog..

Margot Says:

It was such a terrible match AM :( At least GG played some gorgeous tennis in his beat down of Wee Gee.

RZ Says:

Nice to see Goffin have some end of year success, especially considering that he had to miss part of the French Open and Wimbledon due to that dumb tarp injury (dumb on the French Open’s part, not on his part). But I wonder if going the distance at the WTF will help or hurt team Belgium’s Davis Cup chances.

AndyMira Says:

Yes M!…Agree!!…terrible match…seen this young guns play makes me miss those gladiator’s who’s injured out there…

And…U remember the wonderful & incredible moment last year M??God!…i still wanna cry when i think Andy winning WTF…so so sweet moment!’s a shame i can’t cry for Rafa!hahaha…

Giles Says:
Serena and partner have tied the knot. Congrats.

Willow Says:

Congrats Serena and hubby ;-)

Markus Says:

A Zverev is moving rapidly from NextGen to the Lost Gen.

Tennis Stud Says:

Like Sock said, he is playing on the house money. He got nothing to lose, let’s see if he can keep advancing

Tony N Says:

Federer reveals that he did not practice, he enjoyed his day off with friends/family, and slept at 3:30 am before his Cilic match.

Andy Murray’s coach thinks Federer is carrying an injury or is tired.

Margot Says:

Good grief Markus, Sascha is only 20. He was the youngest player to enter the top 20 since Nole did in 2006, I think.
He qualified for both the WTF and Next Gen. He is the youngest player at the WTF by some years.
Give him a beak, do.

Matt Says:

“Sock Stuns Choking Zverev . . .”

Wow. Foolish would be a huge understatement; maybe even inaccurate.

How about “revealing.” Could there be a more revealing gesture of one’s lack of perception? I think not.

Have fun!

Markus Says:

Good grief indeed, Margot. 2018 is going to be very tough for Zverev to have a year like this one. Surprisingly, he progressively got worse towards the end of the year. That’s not a good trend.

Daniel Says:

Dimitrov already secure to top 4 ranking. If he reaches finals undefeated he will be top 3 and pass Zverev.

Meaning, he will be top 4 seed in AO.

Margot Says:

Wow! Gorgeous Grig taking no prisoners. Hope he can maintain this form tomorrow. He’ll need to, as Tubs beat him last time, I believe. He’s had the easier group too of course, once Rafa withdrew.
Hoping for a good match.
Don’t think Goffin has a hope in hell, but hope he can make a bit of a contest.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Margot, I agree with you. Its good that he was so quick to recognize and admit publicly his choke job. If he has the guts to admit that publicly, he has the guts to work on it. Not to say that he’ll stay top 5 next year…

Daniel, the current rankings are relevant to AO seedings- but thats about it. Dmitrov should enjoy his time in the top 5, it won’t last long. He also has big points to defend, and there will be a lot of hunger to go round in early 2018. He’s not staying ahead of Novak and Andy long. I’d wager Stan, DelPo and, (with one more beer) I’d wager Raonic, Nishikori and Zverev will all end 2018 ranked higher.

j-kath Says:

Tennis Vagabond: I read your view re. Grigor with some surprise. I think Grigor will be in the final and – I hardly dare say it – but he may well beat Roger.

It’s also fascinating what you forecast for 2018 – unhappily I think he will beat Andy, Stan, DelPo, Raonic and Kei in 2018.
I hope you are right.

j-kath Says:

PS: Glad there is a second populated thread – the Punk is in his lecturing box over on the other thread… look at the length of each of his spewing, I no longer read anything he writes.

Margot Says:

Tennis Vagabond: Grig has two problems
1) from very early on being called “baby Fed.” That is a heck of a burden for anyone to carry
2) inclined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory rather too often.
On song he is a fabulous player to watch – oozes grace, effortless power and speed. I’m very much hoping that 1) is lifting, none too soon and Dani is helping him with 2)
Glad you agree Sascha is way too young to write off. He has speed, power, fabulous back hand, what’s not to like?

Margot Says:

lylenubbins makes an excellent and interesting point at the top of the thread.
Lol Kath. Some you read, some you don’t, know what I mean…;)

Giles Says:

I hear Lendl has deserted Andy. Is this true?

j-kath Says:

Margot: Yup……must have forgotten…

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I dunno JK, what in Grigor’s career portends that he will ever beat a top guy for a major trophy? The last time we were this bullish on him was in January! And even then, it was for LGWIL: Looking Good While Losing, aka Verdasco Syndrome. Even if Dmitrov does win, I still think this is his career peak. He won’t stay above Andy and Novak, or supplant Roger and Rafa until THEY diminish.

Zverev, on the other hand… maybe.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

(No, I’m not giving him much credit for Cincinnati. It was a 250 level draw)

Giles Says:

J-K. 5.47 pm. I’m splitting my sides with laughter. :))

skeezer Says:

@JK 5:47
But Giles does. :)
Wonder who Andy is going to pick up now as a Coach?

j-kath Says:

Okey-doke Giles: Laughter is great medicine ….

Loads of articles re. Andy/Lendl – not sure Lendl was needed 2nd time around – not sure he’ll be needed now either – for different reasons. To be tough – might be a bit dodgey for any so-called celebrity coach to contract with Andy right now – need to wait to see if the sun comes out or “bury the thought” the clouds thicken….

Off to bed. Seeyah.

Humble Rafa Says:

Big Lady’s coach and former bed partner congratulated her on her wedding to her baby’s father.


Tony N Says:

j-kath Says: “PS: Glad there is a second populated thread – the Punk is in his lecturing box over on the other thread… look at the length of each of his spewing, I no longer read anything he writes.”

Way to go, JK! Finally, you are publicly taking Giles to task for its incessant spewing.

I’m glad that you will now be consistently applying your same high standards to Giles that you have been inconsistently foisting on innocent me. After all, such double standards (keeping silent on Giles’s questionable posts while hypocritically questioning my responses to Giles’s posts) is unfair as well as enables Giles’s questionable views and agenda.

Btw, disparaging Giles as “the Punk” might be viewed as a personal attack on another poster. Play nice. Otherwise Giles might not care that you no longer read anything it writes.

Giles Says:

^^^ There isn’t that much to write about tennis ATM but yet you find it necessary to fill this forum with your usual 10,000 words posts. You’ve been told your posts are ignored by some, including myself. But yet ……? It’s true then, a leopard never changes its spots.

el_matador Says:

tony n,I feel for past,this site was full of “lengthy” tennis discussions between knowledgeable posters like grendel,ben pronin,dave,jane was always very fun to learn something new..but now if u post a lengthy,informative post,everyone’ll mock u..bullying has become the most essential weapon here

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