At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Jack Sock and Steve Johnson represented the U.S.A, teaming up to win the Bronze Medal in Men’s Doubles. On Wednesday, the two slugged it out against each other in a crucial World TeamTennis match at the Court at Creekside at The Greenbrier Resort.
Sock and the New York Empire snuck past Johnson’s Orange County Breakers, 21-19, keeping their playoff hopes alive with just one match to play in the WTT regular season. The Empire stand at 7-6 and if the 6-6 Washington Kastles defeat the Vegas Rollers later on Wednesday night, both teams will remain tied for the fourth and final playoff spot, with the Empire holding the tiebreaker (head-to-head games won). The Breakers were eliminated from playoff contention with a record of 5-8.
Sock got the better of his former doubles partner Johnson in both doubles sets as he and Coco Vandeweghe teamed to beat Johnson and Jenn Brady in Mixed Doubles, 5-3. Sock and Neal Skupski closed out the match, beating Johnson and Austin Krajicek 5-4, including an emphatic 5-0 blanking in the tiebreaker to clinch the match.
In Men’s Singles, Johnson beat Sock, 5-3, in the first set of the match.
New York’s Vandeweghe overcame an upset stomach and having to be substituted by Nicole Melichar in Women’s Singles, but came back to team with Melichar in a 5-2 win over Gaby Dabrowski and Brady in Women’s Doubles.
Vandeweghe, who was born in New York City, talked about being traded to the Empire:
“I claim both coasts as I was born in New York and of course grew up in Southern California,” she said. “My Uncle Kiki (former New York Knicks player and current NBA front office executive) sent out a mass email down in his bubble in Orlando saying, ‘Coco’s playing for New York now!’”
New York Empire def. Orange County Breakers, 21-19
►Mixed Doubles: Jack Sock/Coco Vandeweghe (Empire) def. Steve Johnson/Jenn Brady (Breakers), 5-3
►Women’s Singles: Brady (Breakers) def. Vandeweghe* (Empire), 5-3
(Nicole Melichar substituted for Vandeweghe, leading 3-2)
►Men’s Singles: Johnson (Breakers) def. Sock (Empire), 5-3
►Women’s Doubles: Vandeweghe/Melichar (Empire) def. Gaby Dabrowski/Brady (Breakers), 5-2
►Men’s Doubles: Sock/Neal Skupski (Empire) def. Austin Krajicek/Johnson (Breakers), 5-4