Two years ago, Jack Sock stood on the top of the tennis world, winning 2017 Paris Masters and earning a chance to play at the ATP Finals, pretty much out of nowhere. The American had been safe in the top-20 throughout 2018 with those points although there was little he could do to add more fuel to his tally and continue where he left in the previous year, winning just nine out of 31 matches on the Tour and finishing outside the top-100 for the first time since 2013!
Ironically, Jack had a stellar season in doubles, winning Indian Wells, Wimbledon, the US Open and the ATP Finals, hoping to find the winning path in singles again in 2019 after opening the season with a wild card at the Australian Open.
The struggling American lost to Alex Bolt in four sets to hand the first Grand Slam win to the Aussie and continue his terrible run from 2018. To make things worse, Jack had to undergo surgery at the beginning of February, repairing torn ligaments in his finger and missing all the action in the last five months.
After being sidelined from New York, Delray Beach, Indian Wells, Miami and the entire clay season, Sock planned to make a return at Baptist Health Little Rock Open in the second week of Roland Garros on hard court, in what would have been his first Challenger since Savannah 2014 when he lost to Nick Kyrgios in the title match.
Nonetheless, Jack had to delay the comeback until Atlanta, losing to Miomir Kecmanovic in two tie breaks and experiencing no luck in Washington, Cincinnati and the US Open as well. Jack's only victory of the season came at the Laver Cup against Fabio Fognini, entering his first Challenger in five and a half years after that but failing to find the winning formula in Fairfield, Las Vegas and Charlottesville.
On Tuesday night, Sock had to retire against Sekou Bangoura in the first round in Charlottesville after 35 minutes due to back pain which means he will drop out from the ATP singles list on Monday for the first time since October 2009 when he was still 17!
The Lincoln native will have to start all over in 2020, trying to stay healthy and return where he belongs if he delivers his best tennis, something we haven't seen from him in the last two years.