Newport: Sock and Ram advance

Tennis Updates:

Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock from America managed to reach the quarterfinals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Wednesday.

Sock, seeded fourth, secured a win against Lukas Lacko from Slovakia with 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4. Yuichi Sugita from Japan was defeated by ram with 6-4, 6-3.

The 31-year-old Ram returned the various slices, lobs and other change-of-pace shots offered by Sugita. The 161st-ranked Ram last won the Newport title in 2009. The 22-year-old Sock, ranked 39th, needed two hours to advance in humid conditions on center court.

”You see a lot of upsets here every year, it’s part of the game,” said Sock, who faced seven break points, saving four in the third set. ”With the weather, I haven’t been in much humidity and heat – that took some adjusting to.”

Ram is one of 10 Americans in the tournament – 5th seeded – and he’s making a solid run.

”I’ve done this for long enough, it’s a completely different match, a different day,” Ram said of the short turnaround. ”A completely different opponent is really more of an issue. I had to play with a little bit of a different strategy, a little bit of a different outlook on it, but I played pretty well.”

In other action, fifth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France beat Tommy Haas of Germany 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1), 6-4 in a match suspended by rain Tuesday.

7th-seeded Steve Johnson of the U.S. was ousted by Tatsuma Ito of Japan 6-4, 6-4; and Australia’s John-Patrick Smith beat 18-year old American Jared Donaldson 6-3, 6-1.

Ram broke serve in the 7th game of the opening set to take control. He closed the set with a forehand winner. With fans still entering the grounds next to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Ram took charge, going up 3-1 in the second set.

”I guess I was executing pretty well,” he said. ”It’s a good thing if you can frustrate your opponent.”

Sugita lost the first three points on serve in the final game of the match before returning a backhand long, ending it in 67 minutes.

Ram edged Isner 10-8 in a third-set tiebreaker.

On Saturday, former world No. 1 and two-time major champion Amelie Mauresmo of France heads the 2015 class into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.


About Boyan Vasilev

Soccer, Tennis and Volleyball writer

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