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Pospisil and Sock set up ultimate doubles test

Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock on No.3 Court
by Dan Imhoff
Friday 4 July 2014

Even if Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard come up short with the prize in sight, Canada could still walk away with a Wimbledon champion if Vasek Pospisil and American Jack Sock can spring the upset over Bob and Mike Bryan in the Gentlemen’s Doubles final.

The scratch pairing of Pospisil and Sock, who only just entered before the cut-off deadline, surprised veteran No.5 seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek in straight sets to book their debut Grand Slam final place, 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-4.

Pospisil becomes just the third Canadian man after Daniel Nestor and Grant Connell to reach a Wimbledon doubles final and will look to emulate two-time champion Nestor when he and Sock square off against the Bryan brothers.

“He’s a fun guy. We get along great. That’s one of the reasons we’re playing so well together,” Pospisil said. “To be honest, I haven’t put any emphasis on doubles at all the last two years, but I lost early here. A Grand Slam is different; when you play Grand Slam doubles you play full out and want to do well.”

The partnership only eventuated a few weeks ago when Sock texted Pospisil asking if he would team up. Having struggled with his back for much of 2014, Pospisil told the 21-year-old he was a 60 to 70 percent chance he would have to pull out.

So far, the back has held up and the wins have followed. The turning point came in the opening set when Sock double-faulted to hand Paes two set points. The No.5 seeds brought up a third when Paes cracked a forehand down the line and Pospisil shanked the volley.

The younger pairing, though, steadied to force the tie-break, which they took 7-5.

Paes had an off-day on serve. He dropped for 2-0 in the second set before he and the wily Czech managed to break Pospisil back. Stepanek was next to falter, though, handing the advantage back for 5-3.

With Sock serving for the set, he sent an ace down the T to bring up three set points. He was well long on the first, Stepanek saved a second with a smash putaway and a third with an angled backhand volley at Pospisil’s feet. The set points continued to go begging. Finally the Canadian-American pairing took it on set point No.7 when Stepanek chipped a forehand into the net.

From there Paes’s woes on serve continued. The Indian was broken at the start of the third set and the youngsters held the advantage for the remainder.

Sock stood with three match points on his racket when Paes hit a forehand volley well wide. Stepanek saved one with a backhand return winner before the American sealed it with a forehand volley down the line.

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