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By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, August 4, 2017

 
Jack Sock

Jack Sock swept Milos Raonic, 7-5, 6-4, powering into his fifth semifinal of the season in Washington, DC.

Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty

Babolat backed Jack Sock for a mock Presidential run last year.

Sock showed strong veto power in the nation’s capital today.

More: Wawrinka Ends Season

Playing decisive first-strike tennis and applying his speed to drain errors, Sock swept Milos Raonic, 7-5, 6-4, powering into his fifth semifinal of the season in Washington, DC.

It’s Sock’s seventh career Top 10 victory and his second straight win over the explosive Canadian after suffering eight straight losses, including a 7-6, 7-6, setback at the 2014 Citi Open.

The eighth-seeded Sock will face ballistic-serving South African Kevin Anderson or Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri for a spot in the final.

Contesting his third consecutive Washington, DC quarterfinal, Sock asserted his forehand in baseline rallies and made inroads on return. Sock won 31 percent of the points on Raonic’s first serve.

The 2016 Wimbledon finalist had won eight of the pairs prior 10 meetings, often targeting Sock’s weaker backhand wing on crucial points.

Catching Sock leaning to his left, Raonic zipped a pair of backhand winners down the line opening with a firm hold at 15.

The pair exchanged breaks in the fourth and fifth games. Sock’s fast first step helped him break back as he hit skidding forehand retrieval shot coaxing an error to get back on serve at 2-3.

Superior movement helped Sock carve out a second break. A tremendous sliding flick backhand prompted a roar from the crowd and brought Sock to love-30 in the 11th game.




Trying to squeeze flatter strikes over the net, Raonic netted his third shot of the game falling into a 5-6 hole.

The 24-year-old from Kansas City reeled off 12 of the last 14 points taking a one-set lead.

Sock blasted a 119 mph ace to erase a break point in the sixth game.

Taking the first strike in rallies, Sock earned double break point in the ninth game.

Anticipating the wide serve, Sock thumped a forehand return into the corner breaking for 5-4 with a clenched fist toward his support box.

Sock served out an 85-minute victory on three straight Raonic errors, raising his 2017 record to 27-11.

The 19th-ranked Sock is aiming for his third title of the season following championships in Auckland and Delray Beach where he took the title on Raonic's withdrawal.


 

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