Six-time ATP champion Nick Kyrgios believes his close friend Jack Sock deserves more respect after his great performance against world No. 3 Rafael Nadal at the Citi Open in Washington. Sock, a former world No. 8, pushed No. 1 seed Nadal into a three-setter but ultimately fell just short as the Spaniard won 6-2 4-6 7-6 (1).
Sock, now ranked at No. 192 in the world, received the last wild card for Washington and he almost pulled off a huge surprise.
After the match, 20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal said he was sorry for Sock.
“It was a tough match and I managed to find a way at the end. Sorry for Jack,” Nadal said in his on-court interview, as quoted on the ATP website. “The energy here in Washington has been unforgettable after such a tough year and a half.
“Getting to play in front of these great people is just fantastic. I enjoyed it, I suffered a little bit but it's normal. I hope to be ready for tomorrow”.
Nadal came up big in key moments versus Sock
Nadal was down by a break in the third set but he recovered to force a tie-break.
Nadal was absolutely dominant in the tie-break, having taken an early 5-0 lead before realizing his first match point to seal a three-set win. “Well it felt fantastic. For these kind of things we still play,” Nadal said.
“Of course for us playing without a crowd is the least important thing that we are facing in the last year and a half [with] a lot of people dying, a lot of people suffering. “Still this fire is still there… At least we're able to play with some crowd so that makes a difference for us and that gives us some positive vibes to keep going”. Meanwhile, Kyrgios exited the Washington event on Tuesday after a straight-set loss to Mackenzie McDonald.