Former Blue Valley North tennis player Jack Sock continued his good play at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Friday.
Sock took a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Santiago Giraldo in the quarterfianls.
It is the third time he has reached the semifinal stage in an ATP World Tour event, each coming on a different surface. He did it on the hard courts in Atlanta, grass in Newport, R.I., and now the red clay of Houston.
“I was able to dictate with my forehand, and control a lot of points,” Sock said. “My serve bailed me out of some spots, and I was fortunate enough to get through.”
Sock upset second-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-4, 6-4 Thursday in the second round, and he appeared to have plenty of energy Friday. He saved all seven break points he faced in the 92-minute match, extending a 15-year streak in which at least one American has reached the final four at the tournament.
His opponent in the semifinals will be Kevin Anderson, who withstood a five-hour rain delay before defeating Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-3).
“There were incredibly tough conditions,” Anderson said. “I could have made it a little easier on myself, but it’s something I can improve on going into the next match.”
Sock said he has never played Anderson but has had a chance to watch him enough to get a handle for how he plays.
“I’m going to have to go out and stick to my patterns,” Sock said. “I’m going to have to play very well.”
Sock, 22, is playing his third tournament of the year after having hip surgery in December.