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Jack Sock beats Marin Cilic in three sets at ATP World Tour Finals – as it happened

The Guardian
Tuesday 14 November 2017 17:52

Marin Cilic’s hopes were left hanging by a thread after a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 defeat to the USA’s Jack Sock, who scored his first ever win in the year-end finals 4.52pm GMT For Marin Cilic, this tournament is probably over. He’s lost his first two group matches and his third is against Roger Federer on Thursday. So. He threw this one away. He was a set up, a break up in the third set and in control in the tie-break. But Jack Sock kept fighting and played very well in patches. The American has given himself hope of reaching the semi-finals before facing Alex Zverev on Thursday. Zverev and Federer play tonight. Thanks for reading. Bye. 4.48pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic 4-7 Sock* (*denotes server): Cilic sends a backhand long and Jack Sock has his first ever win at the ATP World Tour Finals! 4.47pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic 4-6 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock pings a backhand down the line and Cilic, stretching desperately, deflects a forehand wide! Sock has two match points. 4.46pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic* 4-5 Sock (*denotes server): Cilic pulls a backhand wide! The match is on Sock’s racquet now. 4.45pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic* 4-4 Sock (*denotes server): Another Cilic backhand clips the top of the net - but this time Sock’s there and, having sped forward, he dabs a backhand down the line! 4.44pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic 4-3 Sock* (*denotes server): Cilic nets a forehand return. 4.43pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic 4-2 Sock* (*denotes server): Cilic’s sliced squash shot drifts just over the net, throwing Sock, who stiffs a forehand into the net! 4.42pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic* 3-2 Sock (*denotes server): Cilic volleys well. 4.42pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic* 2-2 Sock (*denotes server): Cilic swings an ace down the middle. 4.41pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic 1-2 Sock* (*denotes server): Cilic mishits a return. 4.41pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic 1-1 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock sends a whipcrack forehand down the line. 4.40pm GMT Tie-break: Cilic* 1-0 Sock (*denotes server): Sock spins a backhand slice wide. He challenges to no avail. 4.39pm GMT Third set: Cilic 7-5, 2-6, 6-6 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock slaps a forehand down the line to hold to 15. Tie-break. 4.35pm GMT Third set: Cilic* 7-5, 2-6, 6-5 Sock (*denotes server): Cilic shows no nerves at all as he confidently and ominously holds to love. 4.33pm GMT Third set: Cilic 7-5, 2-6, 5-5 Sock* (*denotes server): Cilic holds up his hand in apology after a backhand return clips the net and goes his way, making it 15-all. Sock gets over it by ramming a forehand down the line for 30-15. He crawls to 40-30 and holds after some dinky net shenanigans. On we go. 4.29pm GMT Third set: Cilic* 7-5, 2-6, 5-4 Sock (*denotes server): Cilic holds to love. Sock will serve to stay in the match. 4.27pm GMT Third set: Cilic 7-5, 2-6, 4-4 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock rattles through a stress-free game. 4.24pm GMT Third set: Cilic* 7-5, 2-6, 4-3 Sock (*denotes server): Cilic holds to love, but he’s still thinking about that previous service game as he walks back to his chair. 4.21pm GMT Third set: Cilic 7-5, 2-6, 3-3 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock holds easily and your guess is as good as mine now. 4.17pm GMT Third set: Cilic* 7-5, 2-6, 3-2 Sock (*denotes server): What a response from Sock! He earns a break point. He misses. He gets another chance ... and Cilic misses a forehand! What fight from Sock. They’re back on serve. 4.11pm GMT Third set: Cilic 7-5, 2-6, 3-1 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock stays in contention. This isn’t over yet. He holds. But can he break? 4.07pm GMT Third set: Cilic* 7-5, 2-6, 3-0 Sock (*denotes server): It hasn’t taken long for Cilic to stamp his authority all over this decider. Mind you, he was 3-1 up against Zverev in the third set on Sunday. 4.05pm GMT Third set: Cilic 7-5, 2-6, 2-0 Sock* (*denotes server): It’s Sock’s turn to dip. A double-fault at an inopportune moment makes it 15-40; then Cilic roars after seeing Sock, unable to deal with a swerving low slice, ping a forehand wide. 4.01pm GMT Third set: Cilic* 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 Sock (*denotes server): Cilic was broken at the start of sets one and two; he’ll need a much better start here. He gets one, holding to love. 3.56pm GMT Serving to level things up and take this to a decider, Sock earns two set points by racing on to a Cilic drop shot and prodding a backhand down the line. He only needs one: an ace does the job. 3.52pm GMT Second set: Cilic* 7-5, 2-5 Sock (*denotes server): Play resumes and Cilic holds to love. Sock will serve for the second set. 3.50pm GMT A ballboy appears to have cut his hand. New balls are required. 3.49pm GMT Second set: Cilic 7-5, 1-5 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock holds to love. Cilic appears to have checked out as far as this set is concerned. 3.45pm GMT Second set: Cilic* 7-5, 1-4 Sock (*denotes server): This is a shocker from Cilic, a string of errors and a double-fault handing Sock two break points. This, you fancy, is the set right here. Cilic takes out some frustration with an angry forehand pass to save the first. But then he lashes one wide to gift Sock the double break. 3.41pm GMT Second set: Cilic 7-5, 1-3 Sock* (*denotes server): Cilic looks a little forlorn at the moment. His movement’s a bit leaden. But when Sock tries to test it, he fluffs a drop shot and makes it 30-all. That seems to perk Cilic up. He spoons a return back into play, reads Sock’s forehand and earns a break point with a backhand pass. Sock saves it with some pounding hitting, though. He saves another one, but this game is taking a while to settle. Eventually Sock comes through, finally getting a drop shot right. 3.28pm GMT Second set: Cilic* 7-5, 1-2 Sock (*denotes server): Cilic gets on the board, holding to 30 with an ace. 3.25pm GMT Second set: Cilic 7-5, 0-2 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock couldn’t pull clear when he was in this position in the first set, but after a deuce struggle, he consolidates the break this time. Cilic has some thinking to do. 3.20pm GMT Second set: Cilic* 7-5, 0-1 Sock (*denotes server): Eager to get over the disappointment of that dip at the end of the first set, Sock earns a break point with a crisp forehand. An ambitious lob goes long, though, and the game goes to deuce. Cilic saves another break point with a big forehand. Then he butchers a smash to offer Sock a third chance. He takes this one. Or to be more precise, Cilic nets a backhand. 3.11pm GMT Cilic clenches his fist after planting a backhand overhead out of reach for 0-15. Then he rams a backhand down the line for 0-30. He’s two points from taking control of this match. Make that one. He pings a forehand from right to left and Sock flails into the net to find himself facing three set points. He saves the first, but Cilic takes the second with a huge forehand. Sock receives a code violation for thumping a ball off into the crowd. 3.05pm GMT First set: Cilic* 6-5 Sock (*denotes server): A few errors start to creep into Cilic’s game, allowing Sock to deuce at a crucial moment. Cilic comes forward, but he’s been unconvincing at the net. He doesn’t do much with a couple of volleys and Sock lobs him for a break point. The American’s wearing a wry grin, though. Cilic clips the net with a forehand and the ball lands just inside the line. The Croatian holds. 2.59pm GMT First set: Cilic 5-5 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock tries a drop shot off the backhand side, which is a bad idea. Cilic gobbles it up for 0-15. The American does well to shake off that error, though, and hold to 15. Tie-break? 2.54pm GMT First set: Cilic* 5-4 Sock (*denotes server): This is where it gets edgy. Sock attacks and forces an error from Cilic for 30-all, but then he skews a forehand return long off a second serve. He can’t believe it, not that his disbelief alters reality. Having wasted that chance, Sock isn’t allowed another. Cilic holds. Sock will serve to stay in the set. 2.50pm GMT First set: Cilic 4-4 Sock* (*denotes server): Another hold to love. This set is flying by. Sock is serving well. He’s getting 71% of his first serves in. 2.47pm GMT First set: Cilic* 4-3 Sock (*denotes server): Cilic spanks a forehand away for 15-0 and stomps away with the next few points to hold to love. He’ll be feeling pleased with himself at the moment. 2.44pm GMT First set: Cilic 3-3 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock looks in control of the game at 40-15. He gets pulled to 40-30, though, and it briefly seems that it’s going to deuce when Cilic moves forward. Again, though, the Croatian’s execution at the net is sloppy and Sock holds. 2.39pm GMT First set: Cilic* 3-2 Sock (*denotes server): Serving powerfully and hitting freely, Cilic holds to 15. 2.36pm GMT First set: Cilic 2-2 Sock* (*denotes server): Socks shows off his skills, pulling Cilic forward before lifting a driven volleyed lob over Cilic for 30-0. He’s dragged to 30-all, but he holds to 30 when Cilic nets a gimme of a volley. 2.31pm GMT First set: Cilic* 2-1 Sock (*denotes server): The first hold. Cilic comfortably takes the game to 15. 2.28pm GMT First set: Cilic 1-1 Sock* (*denotes server): Sock has that early break, but both men are playing well here. Cilic rattles a backhand down the line for 30-all. The game goes to deuce and Cilic earns a break point after attacking the net. Sock whacks a wild forehand long and we’re straight back on serve. 2.23pm GMT First set: Cilic* 0-1 Sock (*denotes server): Marin Cilic opens the serving and the Croatian is quickly into the swing of things, thumping a forehand away for 15-0. Sock hits back with a vicious forehand return off a second serve, and this is turning into a forehand battle. Cilic wallops one down the line for 30-15 after a tight rally, but two errors offer Sock an early break point. It’s saved with a lovely crosscourt backhand, but Sock quickly earns another and grabs it with an assertive return. 2.12pm GMT Marin Cilic wins the toss and elects to serve. Tok! Tok! Tok! They’re knocking up. 2.10pm GMT Here come the players. The applause is respectful, a little muted even. With so many big names missing, you can’t help but feel this is a strange time for men’s tennis. 2.03pm GMT Pre-match reading Related: Rafael Nadal withdraws from ATP Finals after punishing defeat by David Goffin 12.54pm GMT Hello. Rafael Nadal might have left London early, muttering darkly about those pesky knees again, but there’s still plenty of quality tennis left to be played this week. First we have Marin Cilic and Jack Sock, both of whom require swift recoveries after opening this tournament with defeats on Sunday. Sock’s setback was a little more understandable - the American, who wouldn’t have made it this far if so many top players hadn’t been struck down by injury this year, lost in straight sets to Roger Federer - while Cilic was frustrated after becoming the latest to fall to Alex Zverev’s rising genius. Federer and Zverev meet tonight and may well do so again in the final, while whoever loses this one can more or less forget about appearing in Saturday’s semi-finals. You feel this is bigger for Cilic; with the competition so diluted, the world No5 and former US Open champion could do with making a statement here, but he’s under pressure after losing to Zverev and has 0-2 record against Sock. As Sock’s presence proves, mind you, there’s a first time for everything.Play begins at roughly 2pm BST. Continue reading...

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