Rising US star Sock handed Auckland wildcard

DAVID LONG
Last updated 11:33 18/12/2013

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Promising American tennis player Jack Sock has been given a wildcard to next month's ATP tournament in Auckland.

The 21-year-old won the junior tournament at the US Open in 2010 and a year later won the mixed doubles title at the Grand Slam, partnering fellow American Melanie Oudin.

Sock made it to the third round of the US Open this year and has a current world ranking of 102.

An aggressive baseliner, Sock's forehand and serve are his biggest weapons, with his second serve being one of the most devastating of the younger generation.

He hits with a large amount of spin and has excellent touch at net, being able to hit volley winners with ease.

A wildcard has already been give to Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, whose ranking has slipped to No 87 in the world.

There is one more wildcard available for tournament director Karl Budge to use. He will keep that up his sleeve until just before the tournament begins, on January 6 and wait to see if one of the world's best players asks to come to Auckland for some match practice before the Australian Open, which begins a week later.

If no one comes knocking the wildcard will be given to a New Zealand player, most likely Rubin Statham, who has a world ranking of 289.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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