Four American men advance at U.S. Open, Sock goes down to Thompson

The four American men who have been the country’s best dating back to the start of this summer all advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open on Monday. John Isner, Jared Donaldson, Sam Querrey, and Steve Johnson got the job done while losing only two total sets combined.

In a shockingly wide-open bottom half of the draw, the pressure is on right from the start with such big opportunities abound all over the place. The aforementioned quartet had no trouble handling it–despite being among the favorites to make major moves at the year’s final Grand Slam. Others, however, fizzled. Seven American men lost; most notably Jack Sock.

The 16th-ranked Sock lost to Jordan Thompson for the second time this season after going down 6-2, 7-6(12), 1-6, 5-7, 6-4. Sock took sets three and four and had all the momentum, especially when he seized a break lead in the fifth and was two games from victory at 4-3. Sock’s chances looked even better at the time because Thompson took a medical timeout for an apparent back injury. But that is when it all went wrong for the No. 13 seed, who lost the last three games of the match while dropping serve at 4-3 and 4-5.

“Utter disappointment when you’re up two breaks in one set, a break in the fifth,” Sock lamented. “Choke it all the way. Really sucks.”

There was no such disappointment for Isner, the host nation’s highest-ranked man. The 6’10” American dropped one set to Pierre-Hugues Herbert but for the most part cruised to a 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory. Isner was up to his usual tricks, firing 22 aces compared to only one double-fault. His more aggressive return game, which has been on display throughout the U.S. summer swing, produced five service breaks.

“I think I’m playing pretty well,” said Isner, a recent champion in Newport and Atlanta. “I’ve had a strong summer. I thought I played really well today. I was very happy with how I played. I’m in a good spot.”

Fellow American Jared Donaldson is in a simply outstanding spot–the best of his career, in fact. Playing the best tennis of his life, the 20-year-old is up to No. 51 in the world. He has earned 18 of his 29 ATP-level match victories in 2017 after beating Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(6) on Monday night. Donaldson struggled with an apparent leg cramp in the fourth set and had a hard time even moving. But he somehow managed to stumble across the finish line.

Querrey joined Isner and Donaldson in the second round thanks to a straight-set defeat of Gilles Simon and Johnson did the same at Nicolas Almagro’s expense. American men who hit the exits with Sock were Tennys Sandgren, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, J.C. Aragone, Christopher Eubanks, Ernesto Escobedo, and Evan King.


5 Comments on Four American men advance at U.S. Open, Sock goes down to Thompson

    • Second week probably although it does seem like a nice setup for Pouille to actually defend the points he earned last year. I think the Pouille/Donaldson winner will likely make the quarters. Just tough to say who as it is for a lot of the matches and sections of the draw this year.

  1. Glad the guys made it through the first round. Real happy to see the comments on Donaldson, he seems to get lost in the shuffle of the Next Generation. Not sure what happened to Sock, that was tough to watch.

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