So many times in sports you see a person or team so close to defeat, yet they find a way to somehow battle through that one tough contest. That person or team then uses that one tough contest as a launching pad for the rest of a tournament. You often see this in the NCAA College Basketball Tournament where the eventual champion has one game early in the tournament when they are not playing their best, yet somehow they find a way to get through it. You also often see this in tennis tournaments where the eventual champion has a match earlier in the tournament and is behind the eight-ball, but somehow finds a way to get through it and uses it as a launching pad the rest of the way.
This week, Jack Sock has been a perfect example of what I have described above. In the second round of the Rolex Paris Masters 1000 event, Sock was down 0-4 and 1-5 in the third set against Kyle Edmund. Somehow, Sock found a way to get through that match. If you look at the draw today, Sock is now in the finals of this tournament and will also be favored in this match as he faces Filip Krajinovic.
What is even further unbelievable to me is that if Sock wins this match, Sock will actually qualify for the eighth spot and make the field in the ATP Singles Race to London for the year-end event. Now, naysayers will say that the field is weak at this Rolex Paris Masters 1000 event. Yes, Roger Federer withdrew before the tournament and Rafael Nadal withdrew after his match that clinched his year-end number one ranking. There is also the fact that five of arguably the top eight players in the world are not even in the field, as they have all been injured. And while all of this is true, it is what certain individuals do when an opportunity presents itself.
For Jack Sock, a huge opportunity has presented itself. Now, if he does win this match tomorrow, does that mean he has necessarily arrived in the elite group of the very top tennis players in the world (i.e. top 10)? I would argue that no, he is not yet at this stage. In fact, I posted a video on this website a few days ago that mentioned certain things that Sock must improve on for him to even have a chance to be in such elite company. That said, certain events have fallen in place for him this week which has given him a tremendous chance to accomplish something pretty amazing in making that elite field of eight in London. Will he take advantage of such opportunity? We will all know the answer to such question in less than 24 hours. Good luck Jack.