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Tuesday, 4 July 2017
19:19 PM BST

Jack Sock: First round

Jack Sock talks to the media after the 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 win against Christian Garin

Q. I only caught the final set but you closed it really great. I'm writing a story about American tennis in general, and as a Brit watching Wimbledon, generations of men have dominated this event and at the Grand Slams. Do you feel any burden by that great history of American players? You are seen as the new standard bearer and the guy that a lot of hopes rest on to bring another Grand Slam back to the States.
JACK SOCK: I mean, no. No extra pressure. I have heard that so many times now. One more time just now.

No, I mean, it's -- you know, I think my answer is the same every time. There is a group of us that are pushing each other, that are trying. Obviously we know the history of American tennis and the accomplishments and achievements and legends we have had in this sport coming out of the U.S.

But we are all, you know, trying to focus on doing our best and keep pushing each other to hopefully get that standard back to what the fans expect from us.

Obviously it's a rough sport. Everyone knows that. A lot of good players out there. We are definitely pushing each other, and we want to be able to hopefully get close to what it used to be like.

Q. You said there is this generation of players at the moment, all coming up together, and they did great in juniors and that now are steadily moving up the ranks with you. Do you discuss this at all? I mean...
JACK SOCK: Not once, no.

Q. Do you think there is an internal rivalry between the American players at all?
JACK SOCK: We are all pretty good friends, I'd say. I mean, yeah, obviously at the end of the day it's an individual sport. Some guys are closer than others.

But, yeah, I mean, I think we are all supportive of each other. I think you can see it on the Davis Cup teams and the Olympic team last year, we are all close. We want to see each other do well.

But like I said, at the end of the day, it's also an individual sport. You know, if there is going to be a next American to win a Grand Slam, obviously I hope it's me. I'd be happy for a countryman or a countrywoman, whoever it is next.

But, yeah, obviously the selfish side of tennis, yeah, I hope it's me.

Q. Is there anything about the American system that could be changed to help athletes like yourself to get...
JACK SOCK: Yeah, if you haven't seen the new site in Orlando I think we are doing things right now.

Yeah, it's an incredible setup they have going there. I think you'll see a lot of good players coming out of there.

Q. Today's match, it was a bit of a battle but you got through it.
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I didn't know much about him going into today. Obviously he came through quallies so he has three matches under his belt.

This was my first match since spraining my MCL two weeks ago. It's been a rough trip for me in the sense of not being able to play. I just started practicing not too long ago.

I was just really happy to be out there playing. When I fell on the grass two-and-a-half weeks ago when I got to Queen's I didn't think I was going to be able to play Wimbledon.

To be sitting here, after a win, as well, is extra special. I'm just enjoying being able to play this week.

Q. How much tougher does it make it to play somebody who has played three matches on grass last week?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, obviously he has these matches under his belt right now. But I have played this tournament a few times now. I was able to practice, like I said, the last four or five days and get my footing under me again, and get a feel for the grass.

I look forward to this time of year because I feel pretty comfortable on it when I'm standing upright and not slipping.

Q. Back at the beginning of the year you won a tournament in Auckland and that got you in the top 20 for the first time. You sort of progressed and built from there. How important was that win in Auckland, do you think, for you?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, any time you can start out a year with a win, everyone wants to start strong with a bang, and to start with a title, it was a big confidence booster for me.

I played a lot of tennis in the fall last year. I felt good about my game and everything. But, yeah, I made a goal for me this year to win more singles titles, and I was able to get two to start the year early on. Just trying to build off that.

Q. What does it take or what's the next step you think for you to get from 15 to into the top 10?
JACK SOCK: Just keep playing. I think I'm on a pretty good path right now. You know, I have a lot of clarity out on court of what I'm trying to do, my style of game. That's just building strengths. And on court, building in the weight room and the fitness and the mental side of it, all of it. Just keep getting stronger in all aspects.

Q. In that final set you seemed to be muttering to yourself, something about swinging harder. Is that something that you need to keep telling yourself, or what were your thought processes at the time?
JACK SOCK: I'm not sure. I'm not sure, actually. Yeah, I actually changed kind of opposite. I started chipping the return and he wasn't able to handle that, as well.

Yeah, I'm not sure.

Q. How lucky are you to go back to Auckland next year and defend that title?
JACK SOCK: TBD. I'm not sure yet. I have to sit down with my team and coaches and figure out my schedule for that year. Haven't thought that far ahead yet.

Q. How different is your mental approach and all this sort of buildup going into the Grand Slam to an ATP tournament?
JACK SOCK: I mean, yeah, obviously there is more at stake maybe, but I go into every tournament trying to win and trying to play my best tennis.

You know, whether it's a 250 or a Grand Slam, you're there to -- you enter the tournament to try to win, otherwise there is no point in showing up. It's all pretty similar.

Q. Despite the injury, do you think you can go deep in this tournament? Your body feels strong, like it can get through lots of matches?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I was thankful it wasn't a torn ligament a couple weeks ago like we thought it was. It was a sprain. I was able to rehab every day. I stayed in London two-and-a-half weeks in hopes to play this week, and I did everything I could and set myself up. Didn't feel actually anything at all today. That was a major, major confidence booster.