Good week/bad week: Sock soars to London

Published by Bede Briscomb

Jack Sock was a surprise champion in Paris last week; Getty Images
Who (or what) is hot and cold in the tennis world right now? Let’s break it down with Good Week/Bad Week!

Julia Görges

After almost seven years without a WTA title, Julia Görges is getting it in. She finishes the year with two straight titles, including the WTA Elite Trophy previously held by Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams in 2016 and 2015. The German didn’t drop a set all tournament (despite being 1-4 down in the opening set of the final against CoCo Vandeweghe) and is now ranked inside the top ten.

Emoji rating: Trophy, flexing biceps, flame, three German flags

Related: Görges wins WTA Elite Trophy

The Argentinian McLaren, Diego Schwartzman!

The speedster hit a potential Hot Shot of the Year with this cheeky behind-the-back passing shot in Paris.

Here are five reasons why it’s that good:

  1. The celebration. Schwartzman just stares at Isner for a few seconds and then grins loudly. So much better than two hands in the air.
  2. Isner’s reaction. The big American just laughed immediately, as if to say, “Wait,  Rafa and Roger aren’t playing – why is this still happening to me?”
  3. The duration of the point. I’m of the mindset that a great hot shot has to be quick so that you can play it on loop several hundred times. This was just seven speedy seconds.
  4. The shot. Perfect timing. Perfect improvisation. Perfect ball placement. Looked like he meant it. Just sensational.
  5. The size difference. When you hit a shot like that on someone almost 40 cm taller than you, it’s pretty special.

You may also like: the tweeners of Paris

Jack Sock

First it was Sam Querrey. Then Kevin Anderson had a shot. Next, Pablo Carreno Busta’s US Open semifinal brought him into contention for the ATP Finals and then Juan Martin del Potro’s title in Stockholm and runner-up place in Basel made him the favourite. But it was ultimately Mr Jack Sock who claimed his place in London. That’s right, Jack Sock – who has beaten a higher ranked opponent just once en route to his three career ATP titles, and bombed in the first or second round of three Grand Slams this year.

Hey, as they say in American sports, “You can only take what the defense gives you.” And the defense was giving the gold medalist a whole lot last week.

Emoji rating: Shrugging man

Related: Sock claims London spot with Paris crown

…With that in mind, ATP Finals

After a forgettable Masters 1000 final, we’re now looking at a World Tour Finals field that, if you exclude Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (the latter actually may pull out), has one Grand Slam champion and one runner-up place between them (Marin Cilic).

Emoji rating: Snowflake

…And also, tennis

Apologies for the negativity, but there’s no way around it: this was a bad week for tennis. The main tournaments of the week could have been sold as wild animal tranquilizers on they were that potently dull. Did anyone actually watch the WTA Elite Trophy? Judging by the stadium, no one in Zhuhai did. And why the heck was it on after the actual WTA finals in Singapore and not used as a curtain raiser for the main event? And on the men’s side, once Federer pulled out, was there any reason to watch Paris-Bercy (for the actual tournament, not the implication it would have on London)?

This is perhaps a larger point for another day, and probably deserves at least 2000 words to fully flesh it out, but tennis is struggling, man. The Serena-less women’s game is literally playing musical chairs for the No.1 spot, and the men’s game is relying on a guy who is 36-years-old to get people to watch. Maybe Novak and Serena will restore order next year, but you have to remember that they, too, are getting long in the tooth and won’t be around forever. 2018 needs Zverev, Kyrgios, Ostapenko and Muguruza to take the next step now more than ever.

Emoji rating: Skull

The off-season

This is where it’s at.

Caroline Wozniacki got engaged:

Dominika Cibulkova is regrouping after a nightmare 2017 season:

Ponytail life ??????????? #vacaymood

A post shared by Dominika Cibulkova (@domicibulkova) on

And NK Rising is NK Balling:

Brother #yeahwedoball

A post shared by ^Nicholas Kyrgios^ (@k1ngkyrg1os) on

Emoji rating: Envious face (…is there an envious face?)

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