Sock reaches Stockholm final, cements spot as American No. 1

October 23, 2016 12:56 PM

By McCarton Ackerman,

In his first tournament as the top-ranked American man, Jack Sock showed why he’s worthy of that position with an impressive runner-up finish at the ATP World Tour event in Stockholm.

The 24-year-old, seeded No. 6, prevailed in long three-set matches for three of his four victories in Stockholm, including a third-set tiebreak win over Malek Jaziri in the opening round.

Sock kept things competitive in the early stages of the championship match against former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, but the extensive on-court time caught up with him. He requested a trainer midway through the second set to receive treatment for arm pain, and del Potro went on to win the match, 7-5, 6-1.

"It was a tough match," said Sock to "His serve is massive and very tough to read, which put more pressure on my serve. He just played well today. I've had a long week here and it might have caught up with me a bit."

Despite the loss, Sock reached his third ATP World Tour singles final of 2016. He previously finished runner-up in January in Auckland and in April in Houston. He’s also excelled in Stockholm in recent years, finishing as runner-up last year and reaching the quarterfinals in 2014.

Sock became the top-ranked American for the first time in his career last Monday, overtaking Steve Johnson. He currently leads the Americans this week at No. 23 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, just one spot above Johnson at No. 24. Longtime top American man John Isner checks in at No. 27 and Sam Querrey is No. 29.

The Nebraska native is the No. 8 seed at this week’s ATP World Tour event in Basel. He plays Adrian Mannarino in the first round.