ATP Paris: Jack Sock fights to knock out home favourite Richard Gasquet

In the third round at the BNP Paribas Masters, home favourite Richard Gasquet crashed out at the hand of American Jack Sock 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. The American will now go on and face John Isner in the quarterfinals, a head-to-head which is 4-3 in favour of Isner. 

Sock runs away with set

Jack Sock came running out of the blocks. At 15-30, Gasquet fired a double fault to hand the first break point to the American. After a punishing rally, Sock came out on top firing a forehand down the line to grab the first break of the match. A hold to love saw Sock take a 2-0 lead. The crowd early on were getting restless.

Gasquet then held to love to get on the scoreboard. In the fifth game, the world number 19 shanked a backhand wide which gave Sock a further three break points. Gasquet saved the first of three but a dropshot winner at the second attempt gave Sock a double break lead at 4-1.

Jack Sock plays a forehand shot to Richard Gasquet during their third round encounter at the Paris Masters (Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Jack Sock plays a forehand shot to Richard Gasquet during their third round encounter at the Paris Masters (Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The American consolidated the break and took a healthy 5-1 lead after Gasquet put a backhand into the net. Serving to stay in the set, the first match point arrived for Sock following an unforced error by the Frenchman. After an exchange, the 24-year-old then sent a running forehand long as Gasquet brought the game to deuce.

He eventually held to give Sock the chance to serve it out. At love-30, the world number 24 played a dropshot to which the Frenchman played back but a volley lob return presented Sock with a second set point. He made no mistakes, and slammed an ace down to put away the set, 6-2. 

Gasquet draws level

Despite almost getting outplayed during the entirety of the opening set, the Frenchman came out fighting and got immediately on the board with an ace. Just like his opponent, Sock finished the game with an ace for 1-1. Gasquet went back infront at 1-2, clenched his fist, looked at his coach and tried to draw some energy. With no breaks of serve, Sock then gained a break point in the seventh game following an unforced error.

A backhand into the net brought the game to deuce as Gasquet saved a break point. From then on he held for 3-4. The ever reliable forehand went missing in the eighth game as the Frenchman drew the error. Sock saved one break point but after a call was ruled out, Lahyani then overruled but following a challenge from Gasquet, the ball was in fact in and he broke for 3-5. Back-to-back aces and the second set was won by Gasquet, 3-6, to force a third. 

Sock wins match; ending season on a high

The American started the deciding set with a hold to love. In the very next point, Sock then brought up a break point as he was desperate to make the most of the opportunity. However, Gasquet denied Sock and got a gutsy hold for 1-1. The Frenchman growing in confidence gained a break point, standing tall on the return of serve. He broke in the next game.

However, Sock had his chance to break almost immediately back. The American hit a crosscourt shot which then opened up the rest of the court to hit into, but Gasquet saved the break point and went on to consolidate for 3-1. However, just a couple games later, the Nebraska-born fought back to gain a break point after crushing a forehand down the line. Sock broke and then consolidated to draw level at 3-3.

Jack Sock congratulasted by Richard Gasquet (Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Jack Sock congratulasted by Richard Gasquet (Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Although he came back, Gasquet then regained his break and following good defence, Sock fired a forehand into the net as the Frenchman went 3-4 up. The 29-year-old collapsed and allowed Sock to get back into the match following an exquisite backhand passing shot. The Frenchman smashed a backhand into the net as Sock broke once more to stay in touch.

Following three consecutive breaks, Sock stopped the rot and held serve for 5-4. The next game produced two match points following passive play from Gasquet. The Frenchman then showed great fighting spirit to save both the breaks and then hold for 5-5. Sock held his possibly last service game from love-30 down to pile the pressure once more on Gasquet. The world number 19 saved a break point from the 24-year-old but Sock fought hard and eventually pushed through to grab the set 7-5 and the win.