Krajinovic advances to 33 in the world rankings
PARIS: American Jack Sock battled back from a set down to beat qualifier Filip Krajinovic 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 and win the Paris Masters title yesterday, snatching a place at the World Tour Finals. 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 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 knocked out his compatriots Sam Querrey and John Isner earlier in the week.
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 FIGHTS BACK
Any worries that the world number 77 would struggle with nerves were quickly put to bed as he held his opening service game with an exquisite drop shot.
Sock had dropped serve eight times going into the final and Krajinovic brought up the first break point of the match in game five. The world number 22 saved it with a drop volley, but the underdog quickly created another opportunity and Sock gifted him the break with a double fault.
The vital breakthrough came shortly afterwards though when Sock crunched two magnificent passing shots from well behind the baseline to leave Krajinovic stunned.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Julia Goerges stormed to victory at the WTA Elite Trophy yesterday, hammering number two seed CoCo Vandeweghe in the final to claim her second title of the year. The 29-year-old made an unexpected comeback in the first set to take down the fiery Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-1 in one hour and 20 minutes in Zhuhai, China, as fellow German and tennis legend Steffi Graf watched from the stands.
With the title, which comes on the heels of a win in Moscow a fortnight ago, Goerges is set to end the season with a career-high ranking of world number 14. She joins other Elite Trophy winners Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams. “There is no better way to end this season,” she told journalists after the match. – AFP