Tennis – American Jack Sock says that he is grateful to the organizers of the ASB Classic in Auckland for helping him with wildcards at the beginning of his career – something that played a part in his decision to return to the event as defending champion next month.
Speaking to The Stuff, Sock says, "I have great memories of playing in Auckland. They were kind enough to give me a wildcard years ago when I was starting on tour, so I always feel Auckland is a special place for me.
The centre court there is a blast to play on, the crowd is always enthusiastic and they're into the matches, so it's a fun tournament to play."
The 25-year-old American is up to No. 8 in the rankings and says he took some time off during the off-season before getting back to training.
"I spent time with family and friends, people close to me, to get their thoughts on it. But it's a quick turnaround, I had a little bit of time to enjoy it and then I'm right back into my work."
Speaking about being the top-ranked American player, Sock says he does not think about it as much.
"The media love to talk about it and bring it up, but I don't think about it myself. This is an individual sport and every day I focus on myself and what I can do and control. If that means being the No 1 American that's awesome, if not, then I'm not going to lose sleep over it each night."