Jack Sock’s reaction a short time after winning a doubles title Saturday in tennis’ most prestigious event said it all.
“Wimbledon champions. Wow. No words can describe this moment.”
Sock wrote that message on his Facebook page a short time after he and Vasek Pospisil won the men’s doubles championship at the All England Club in London with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Bob and Mike Bryan, considered one of the best doubles teams in the history of the sport.
The match featured two Kansas City connections. Sock grew up in the area and played in high school at Blue Valley North, and the Bryans played for the Explorers of World TeamTennis for eight seasons when they were in Kansas City.
Sock moved to the Kansas City area from Lincoln, Neb., when he was in the fifth grade to work with tennis instructor Mike Wolf.
“You always knew he had a special quality,” Wolf said of working with Sock as a youngster. “He’s a natural. He has very good instincts.”
Wolf gave Sock a little more coaching when they exchanged text messages before Saturday’s match. What Wolf saw while watching Sock and Pospisil were two big and physical young players who were moving fast and had live balls coming off their rackets.
The victory by Sock and Pospisil was followed closely at the Elite Squad Tennis Club of Overland Park, where Wolf works out of now.
“It was a pretty incredible display of talent,” said Marc Stulz, the club’s chairman. “They handled themselves well after beating perhaps the best doubles team ever. It was a phenomenal feat.”
What made the victory even more impressive was the fact that Sock, now 21 years old, and Pospisil, a 24-year-old from Vernon, British Columbia, were playing as a team for the first time in this tournament. And Saturday’s match was their first on Centre Court at Wimbledon, the most famous tennis venue in the world.
“We had a lot of fun, people could see that,” Sock told reporters after the victory. “That’s part of why we did well. We really enjoyed being out there.”
At the start, it looked as if it might be the Bryans’ day. They broke serve in the second game for a 2-0 lead, but Sock and Pospisil got the break back in the next game, and the set eventually went to a tie breaker. Sock’s big serves helped his team take a 5-2 lead, and his overhead smash gave the team two set points. Pospisil gave the team the set when he hit a forehand shot for a winner.
The two teams were tied at two sets apiece when Sock and Pospisil finally seized command. The Bryans saved two match points, but their younger opponents finally got the job done. Sock pounced on a second serve and slammed a a forehand shot up the line for the deciding point.
The result was disappointing for the 36-year-old Bryan brothers, who have won a record 15 Grand Slam doubles titles, including three at Wimbledon.
“Unfortunately we were on the losing end of it, which doesn’t feel good,” Bob Bryan said. “But we'll look back on this run we had here with good feelings. I thought we fought hard for two weeks.”
As a result of their run the last two weeks, Sock and Pospisil won a title at a tournament that they dreamed of playing in while growing up.
“As kids we grew up watching this tournament,” Sock said. “This is what we kind of dreamed of doing. To be able to go out there and play the best doubles team of all time and to get a win was pretty incredible.“
Wolf said he believes Sock will have more great runs during his pro tennis career.
“I’m not surprised at his skill level,” Wolf said. “This is just the beginning of many more special things.”