When Andy Roddick and Jack Sock meet today in a second-round men's singles match at the U.S. Open in New York City, it will bring back fond memories of former days and plenty of youth tennis triumphs in the Nebraska heartland.
Roddick, a former No. 1 tennis player in the world and 2003 U.S. Open champion in men's singles, and Sock, former Blue Valley North High School tennis standout and four-time Kansas 6A state champion, were both born in Nebraska.
At 29, Roddick is fast approaching the twilight of his accomplished professional tennis career, while Sock, 18, is just beginning his career as a tennis professional. Sock earned an exemption into the U.S. Open by winning the 18-and-under National Junior Championship. After graduating from high school last spring, Sock declared that he was turning professional.
Sock says that he first met fellow Nebraskan Roddick at a University of Nebraska football game, "and I've met him here and there since," he said. "I've spent a little time with him, practiced with him a couple of times."
"I think we're the only two teenagers to play tennis in Nebraska in the last 30 years, and we're both in the U.S. Open," Roddick said.
Sock continued his winning ways on Thursday at the U.S. Open, winning in mixed doubles with his partner Melanie Oudin. The pair defeated Vladimire Uhlirova and Filip Polasek, 6-4, 0-6, 11-9 (tiebreaker).