September 3, 2016
Jack Sock thrilled the home crowd at Flushing Meadows with an impressive straight sets win over 2014 champion, Marin Cilic.
The 23-year-old has never been so far at the US Open. But Sock doesn’t want to stop at the last sixteen and will now set his sights on France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
True, Cilic was suffering from cramp during Sock’s 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory. But that takes nothing away from the young American’s improving singles game.
John Isner might have joined Sock at the business end of the tournament – but he was defeated by the emerging Brit, Kyle Edmund in four dramatic sets.
Edmund, only 21, converted his third match point to win through 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).
Although Isner had fired down 27 aces, he had only managed to convert one of seven break points – a testament to Edmund’s nerve under pressure.
The Brit will face the great Novak Djokovic next – and will have to stay fearless if he is to find a weakness in the ring-rusty Serb’s armour.
Sock is clearly pleased with the mental and physical progress he is making. He said: ‘In the past I was happy to make the third round and then see what happened.
‘Now my goal is to make the second week here and every Slam going forward. I feel like I’m playing good tennis and that’s kind of where I belong.’
The fourth round is certainly going to be interesting. Djokovic has played precious little tennis after his latest opponent, Mikhail Youzhny, quit with a leg problem while 2-4 down in the first.
That could work in Novak’s favour, as he seeks to recover from left wrist and right arm niggles.
But it also leaves Djokovic short of meaningful match action. And there is just a chance that Edmund could put him in trouble if the Brit catches him cold early on.
‘Djokovic is hard to break down but I have been playing aggressively and I need to keep it that way,’ said Edmund after his win over Isner.
Meanwhile Rafael Nadal is strengthening his title credentials with every passing match.
He hasn’t dropped a set all tournament and looked scarily smooth again during his 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.
Lucas Pouille is unlikely to be confident of victory when the Frenchman faces Nadal in the next round.