2016 Wimbledon team profile: Pospisock

2016 Wimbledon team profile: Pospisock

The 2014 champions, Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock, will be looking to return to glory at the site of their greatest victory when Wimbledon kicks off next week.

Pete Borkowski

In 2014, boys from nowhere only went and did it, they beat the unbeatables. The first-time pairing of Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock tore through the Wimbledon gentlemen’s doubles draw on a giant killer run for the ages, claiming one of the most shocking Grand Slam titles in recent memory. Despite some big results since their maiden major title, team Pospisock has not returned to major glory since Wimbledon in 2014. They will be looking to reclaim their crown over the next few weeks.

Notable Results to Date

Pospisock has yet to claim a title together in 2016, although they have reached a pair of Masters 1000 finals, falling a single win short in Indian Wells (where they were defending champions) and Rome. They reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open but fell in the second round of the French Open. They have only played six events together so far this year.

Pospisil (left) and Sock in action in Indian Wells. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Pospisil (left) and Sock in action in Indian Wells. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Pospisil has a doubles title to his name this year, having won in Rotterdam partnering current doubles world number two Nicolas Mahut. Sock has only played one match with a partner other than Pospisil, losing in the first round of Rio with Nicholas Monroe. The Canadian currently sits at 20th in the rankings, while the American is 22nd. As a team, they are ranked 10th in the Race to London.

Best Grass Results Leading into Wimbledon

Sock has yet to play a match on grass this year in singles or doubles, so he will be heading into Wimbledon with no matches on the surface under his belt. Pospisil lost his lone grass court doubles match, dropping a pair of tiebreaks in the first round of the Aegon Championships with partner and countryman Milos Raonic. The pair were playing the event to get some practice leading up to the Olympics. Pospisil has also played a pair of tournaments in singles, losing the in the first round of both s-Hertogenbosch and the Queen’s Club, although he did score a pair of wins in qualifying for the Queen’s Club. In any case, Pospisock will be coming into Wimbledon without much to drawn on.

Best Results at Wimbledon

In June 2014, so the legend goes, Sock sent Pospisil a text asking if he wanted to play doubles at Wimbledon just for fun. The Canadian figured why not and so the pair entered the draw. The rest, as they say, is history. The pair would defeat four of the top eight seeded teams on their way to a stunning title.

After a straight-sets win in the first round, they battled past the eighth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi in five sets to score their first upset. In the quarterfinals, they found themselves up against the second-seeded team of Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares. The Canadian/American team threw down a strong performance to stun the second seeds in four sets. They followed up the win with another four set victory, this time over fifth seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek to reach their first major final.

Pospisil (left) and Sock celebrate their Wimbledon victory. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Pospisil (left) and Sock celebrate their Wimbledon victory. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

In the final, they found themselves up against the legendary Bryan brothers. But the youngsters did not seem to be afraid of the so-called “unbeatables.” The two teams split the first two sets in tiebreaks, before splitting the next two with breaks. Pospisock always held the initiative, winning the first and third sets. In the fifth, the Bryans found themselves serving to stay in the match and were down match point at 5-6. Sock would rip a clean forehand winner on his return to seal the historic victory.

As defending champions, Pospisock did not fare so well. In their third round match against John Peers and future doubles number one Jamie Murray, they battled back from two-sets-to-love down, only to drop the fifth set 8-6.

How Pospisock’s Game Translate to Grass

Obviously, their game translates well considering that they are former champions. Part of the reason they are very good on this surface is their power. While neither would necessarily be considered a big hitter compared to some people on the singles tour, both men hit hard groundstrokes and possess powerful serves. When they are hitting the ball cleanly, they put opponents under a lot of pressure. The slick grass court surface tends to highlight their power.

Sock (left) hits a volley as Pospisil watches at Wimbledon in 2014. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Sock (left) hits a volley as Pospisil watches at Wimbledon in 2014. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Pospisock can be described as a good all-around team. They like to attack the net, as most good doubles teams do, but they are both highly capable baseline players. They can play the one-up, one-back style or both charge into the net. They are both good movers and can cover the baseline well or charge in if necessary.

The problem for Pospisock can be consistency. Since they both take big cuts at the ball, they both go through phases of not being able to find the court. The also can struggle under pressure. Since they like to control the pace of the match, aggressive net teams who keep them stuck on defense tend to be successful against them. This can be problematic on grass since the surface rewards aggression. However, it can be tougher to turn the tables on them if they get in control.