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Sock tops Ferrer, advances to Auckland final

January 15, 2016 08:02 PM

By E.J. Crawford, USTA.com

A year ago, Jack Sock was laid up, sidelined by hip surgery and watching his fellow pros prepare for the Australian Open from half a world away. Sock returned playing the best tennis of his life, surging into the Top 30 and setting his sights even higher for 2016.

On Friday, he took another big step toward the top of the men’s game, knocking off world No. 8 David Ferrer, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, to advance to the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand. 

On Saturday, Sock will play in his third career tour final, aiming for his second title. He won his first crown last year at the U.S. Clay Court Championships in Houston. 

“I knew coming in I would have to play some unbelievable tennis,” the 23-year-old told ATPWorldTour.com after the victory. “It was a difficult day. I woke up with some flu-like symptoms. I didn’t know if I was going to play. I ended up coming out and playing some of my best tennis of my career. Maybe I can stay sick through Melbourne and play like this.”

Sock, who defeated world No. 12 Kevin Anderson and doubles partner Vasek Pospisil to advance to the semifinals, faces eighth-seeded Roberto Bautista Bagut in the Auckland title match. 

The Nebraska native will be seeded 25th for the Australian Open, which starts Monday, Jan. 18. He faces a qualifier in the first round, with a potential matchup against 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka looming in the third round.

Editor's Note: Sock was forced to retire in the final due to his flu-like symptoms.