Jack Sock (*92 / USA) of Kansas City was after a few years of certain stagnation the shooting start of the end of the 2017 season. After his win at the 2017 Paris Masters, Jack had a very strong showing at the ATP Masters in London, where he reached the semifinals. There he lost in 3 sets to the eventual event winner Grigor Dimitrov (BUL). As a result, Jack is closing the 2017 season at the ATP #8, which is obviously his career high and it took more than 6 years for an American male tennis player to be ranked so high. The last, before him, was former #1 Andy Roddick, who was ranked at the position of #8 in March 2011. Interestingly enough, both Rodick and Sock were born in Nebraska…
In the previous articles here, I have written about Jacks Forehand 3.0 as well as about his Service 3.0. In this article, I would like to focus on the combination of these two, which is currently one of Jack’s biggest strengths. Today, he can combine these strokes at a much higher level than for example young American Ernesto Escobedo, about whom I have written here as well already. In the modern game then, the efficient stoke combinations (mainly service & 3rd stroke as well as return & 4th stroke) are the real deciding elements in the game of the top players, isolated single strokes are not enough anymore. The best players have the ability to hit very well-placed
In general, Jack has mastered in both mentioned strokes the art of the close to optimal body energy unloading (=Tennis 3.0), which flows through the targeted pronation of the entire limb (long-axis pronation) exactly against the target. Such targeted pronation is possible when, among other conditions (= TENNIS 3.0 CODE), a perfect eye control of the ball leading to optimal spacing is present. Some of the other conditions necessary for a perfect spacing, which is making the efficient and well-controlled body energy unloading against the target possible, are a clear mental picture of such stroke, an early anticipation, a good ball perception, a good use of the non-dominant hand, a prolonged mental engagement with each stroke and a fairly good footwork with a solid feet frequency.
In my personal opinion, a wrong mental image of the strokes and a too short mental engagement span (both often tied to the “consumer mentality” of the players) with each stroke are the most prevalent mistakes among the aspiring players. For the seamless stroke combinations, also an early split step tied to the hitting of the opponent and full focus on opponent’s body and racket action is essential. The end result is not mainly about the biomechanical aspects of the strokes, as many think, but much rather about the combination of the biomechanical, mental and emotional factors, which in combination create the stroke technique and the style of play of each player!
This article covers certain aspects of Jack Sock’s service and forehand combination as well as tennis service and forehand in general only! Further photos and more details about his service/forehand and other strokes as well as about the strokes of other players are available upon request at drmgb11(at)gmail.com. Some significant details of this kind necessary for top tennis performance are being discussed also in the seminar “TENNIS 3.0 – Future of the Game”, which is available worldwide upon request – www.tennis30.com / www.tennis30.cz
Photos (October 2017) & text (November 2017) copyright by Dr. Martin G. Baroch. Any further publication of either any of the photos and/or texts with the written permission of the author/copyright owner only!!