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Meet Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock

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Here’s a twenty second century tennis trivia query: “Who was Roger Federer’s last opponent?”

Trick answer. There have been two: Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

Sock and Tiafoe, each Americans, are definitely the supporting actors in Friday night’s Federer-centric farewell production. But they pose an actual threat to Federer going out on a high note.

Sock, specifically, has played loads more doubles lately than Federer or his superstar partner, Rafael Nadal, who’ve long focused almost exclusively on singles.

Sock, 29, has a glittering 205-96 profession record in doubles and has been ranked as high as No. 2 on this planet. He recently won the title in Washington, D.C., with partner Nick Kyrgios and just helped america Davis Cup team advance to the quarterfinals by partnering with Rajeev Ram to win two crucial matches.

Federer and Nadal have each won gold medals on the Olympics in men’s doubles. Sock’s gold got here in mixed doubles in 2016 with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. But unlike Federer or Nadal, Sock has won Grand Slam doubles titles: three in men’s doubles and one in mixed doubles.

Sock has an enormous serve, an imposing forehand with an extreme grip and fabulous touch and reflexes at the online. Despite his solid frame and sometimes sleepy gaze, he also could be very quick, which implies that he and the speedy Tiafoe will have the ability to shut a whole lot of gaps in a rush tonight against Federer and Nadal.

But though Tiafoe, 24, just broke through to achieve the semifinals in singles this month on the U.S. Open, he might be the weak link on this match. He has yet to win a doubles title on tour and has a losing profession record of 23-39.

Tiafoe, an extrovert with a flashy game, does like an enormous occasion and an electrical crowd, nevertheless, as he proved again in Latest York this 12 months. He definitely seemed relaxed within the run-up.

“I’m just excited to play two up-and-comers tomorrow,” Tiafoe joked on Thursday.

Sock already has played those up-and-comers in doubles on the Laver Cup, losing with partner Sam Querrey in 2017 to Federer and Nadal of their first-ever official match together.

For Tiafoe, given the circumstances, it should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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