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Sock makes Tour Finals with Paris Masters title

Sock makes Tour Finals with Paris Masters title

PARIS: American Jack Sock snatched the last spot in the ATP Tour finals when he beat qualifier Filip Krajinovic 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 to win the Paris Masters title on Sunday.

The 16th seed ended his Serbian opponent’s fairytale run in the French capital to break into the world’s top 10 for the first time and take the last place for London from Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.

Despite dropping a tight opening set, the 25-year-old upped his game and stormed through the decider to claim the biggest title of his career to become the first American to win the tournament since Andre Agassi in 1999.

It was his third title of the year, fourth overall and first at a Masters.

“To be standing here after being so far down in my first match is incredible,” Sock, who trailed 5-1 in the third set of his opener against Briton Kyle Edmund, told the crowd after winning his third title of the year.

“This will be my first time in the top 10 and first time at the Tour Finals in London, so much is going on right now.”

Sock, who was 24th in the ‘Race to London’ standings before arriving at Bercy, will become the American number one for the first time, after beating the man who upset his compatriot John Isner 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-5) on Saturday.

Krajinovic showcased the game that took him to the brink of becoming the first qualifier to win a Masters title since Albert Portas in 2001, but ultimately he failed to become only the second Serb after Novak Djokovic to triumph at this level.

“This was the best week in my life,” Krajinovic said. “I will never forget this moment in my life. Coming from qualifying to the final was a dream come true.”

Sock, who beat French wildcard Julien Benneteau 7-5, 6-2 on Saturday, won his first two service games to love but ran into a spot of bother in the sixth game. He served and volleyed to save a break point but a double fault handed Krajinovic a break and a 4-2 lead.

The American broke straight back but a fine forehand earned the Serb a set point and Sock made a mess of another forehand as his opponent, who defended well, took the lead.

Krajinovic, however, lost his focus and a forehand error gave Sock an early break in the second set. The Serb fell 4-1 down and could only break back once, Sock levelling for one-set all.

The momentum had shifted and Sock raced through the deciding set to become the first American winner of a Masters tournament since Andy Roddick at Miami in 2010.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2017

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