LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Jack Sock rallied to stun Marin Cilic 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Friday and put the United States on the road to a 2-0 lead over Croatia in their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final tie.
The triumph for the 26th-ranked Sock over world number 12 Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, was followed by American John Isner’s 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Borna Coric.
The formidable doubles duo of Bob and Mike Bryan can clinch the best-of-five match tie on the outdoor hardcourt at Tualtin Hills Tennis Club in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday.
Croatians Ivan Dodig and Marin Draganja are slated to take on the brothers, trying to push things to the reverse singles on Sunday.
Sock fired 17 aces against Cilic, who came into the tie trying to put behind him a five-set quarter-final loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon.
But having forced a decisive fifth set, the American surrendered an early break that appeared to set Cilic on his way.
Sock, however, broke back in the fifth game, and while he couldn’t convert three break points in the seventh, he gained the last break he needed in the ninth, when Cilic sent a high backhand volley wide.