Finalist Jack Sock to return to Auckland for ASB Classic in January

Jack Sock is the top ranked American men's tennis player.
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Jack Sock is the top ranked American men's tennis player.

World No 23 Jack Sock has confirmed he will return to Auckland for the ASB Classic in January.

Sock joins Roberto Bautista Agut, John Isner and David Ferrer as the players so far confirmed for the men's tennis tournament.

Sock made it to the final this year, but was suffering from a virus on the day of his match against Bautista Agut, so had to pull out when down 1-0 in the second set.

The American went on to have a good year on the circuit and at the US Open defeated world No 9 Marin Cilic on his way to the round of 16.

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Most recently, at the Shanghai Masters last week, Sock defeated world No 6 Milos Raonic. 

The third-round victory over Raonic took him past Steve Johnson to become the highest-ranked American.

At the age of 24, Sock is likely to crack the world's top-10 after years of top male American players struggling to do so.

It will be Sock's third appearance at the Classic and, like his compatriot, Isner, it's a tournament he enjoys.

"I always love coming back there," Sock said. 

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"It's a really cool ... kind of a laid back event. For me it's the best lead up to the first Grand Slam of the year."

While the field for the men's tournament is filling up, for the first time, the women's tournament will overshadow the men's.

Serena Williams will play in Auckland in the first week of January and it's looking increasingly unlikely that there will be a men's player of similar stature coming to the event the following week.

Each year there are fewer top players keen on playing the week before the Australian Open.

The top men's player who'll be at the Sydney International, which is the same week as the Classic, is world No 10 Dominic Thiem from Austria.

 - Stuff

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