Blue Valley North 2011 graduate and Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tennis player has done well in his first five years on the pro circuit. And by ‘well,’ we mean he has earned more than $2-million on the professional tennis circuit.
It comes as no surprise that the former Mustang was very successful on the high school tennis stage as well. He won every match he played as we worked to win four consecutive Class 6A state singles titles. He only lost one set and that was to his older brother, Eric.
At the age of 22, Sock has been ranked as high as 30th in the world in singles and in April, he won his first singles ATP title at the Houston Open.
“That is my biggest highlight,” says Sock. “I loved to play there and singles is my game.”
He dedicated the victory to Eric, who was recovering from what was thought to be bacteria sore throat but proved to be a rare infection called Lemierre’s Syndrome, which was attacking his liver, kidneys and heart. Eric was on a life support ventilator for eight days before finally getting on the road to recovery.
Watching his brother’s near-death battle has had an effect on Jack.
“That opened my eyes on life in general,” he says. “I used to get upset with little things like missing a shot in tennis. Family and people around you matter more. I play a little more relaxed now. Life is bigger than tennis.”
Eric is recovering well and is working as a tennis professional at the Elite Squad Tennis Club in Overland Park, where Jack trains when he is back in town between ATP events.
One of the highlights of Jack’s career so far was teaming with Canadian Vasek Pospisil to win the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon in England in 2014.
“I will always be in history as winning at Wimbledon,” Sock says. “It was unexpected. We started out just trying to win some matches. Then we figured we could win the whole thing.”
Despite playing with a broken finger, Sock and his partner made it to the third-round of doubles before losing in early July of this year at Wimbledon.
Coming this month is the U.S. Open in New York City. This is Sock’s favorite tournament and where he has a great deal of success.
“This is my favorite event on the tour being an America and in our sport,” he says. “It is the most exciting two weeks of the year.”
This year’s U.S. Open is Aug. 31 through Sept. 13.
Sock won the Junior U.S. Open title in 2010 and in 2011 captured the mixed doubles title at the U.S. Open.
What are his strengths as a singles player?
“I have a big serve, forehand and quickness on the court,” he says. “I have mentally matured a lot.”
And what does he need to work on?
“I need to polish things up, my forehand and backhand,” he says. “I need to work on my mind and mental strength. I work on all that in practice.”
Sock is pleased with his reception in Kansas City.
“I want to thank Kansas City for its support,” he says. “I have loving fans around the Kansas City area and I hope to produce good results.”
Mike Wolf, who was a state singles champion in 1983 for Blue Valley High School, has coached Sock since his move to Overland Park.
What did Wolf see in the young Sock?
“It started with competitiveness on and off the court,” says Wolf. “He had a desire to be at the club all the time.”
And now Wolf sees a bright future for the 22-year-old former Mustang.
“If this were a baseball game, he is just in the fifth or sixth inning of his full ability,” he says. “It is mostly mental, but he is in a great place with much more to come.”
Wolf thinks that Sock will put it at all together in the next five to seven years.
“There is so much more in him,” says Wolf. “He went to a normal high school and didn’t turn pro until he was 18. He has done things at a slower pace. People need to be patient. He will just get better and better.”