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US Open Tennis

Jack Sock returns a shot to Nikoloz Basilashvili during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament last week in New York. Sock and doubles partner Mike Bryan won Thursday to advance to the tournament's semifinals.

Jack Sock’s singles ranking may have dropped to No. 105, but that didn’t keep the Lincoln native from drawing a first round opponent in the Australian Open who is below him in the world tennis standings.

Sock will face No. 159 Alex Bolt, a wildcard from Australia, in his opening match Tuesday (Monday evening Lincoln time) in the first Grand Slam event of the 2019 season. It’s a huge change from a year ago when the 26-year-old Sock entered 2018 ranked No. 8 in the world, only to see it plummet after going 9-21 last season on the ATP tour.

The first seeded player Sock could play is No. 29 Gilles Simon of France in the second round. Sock is 1-2 in his career against Simon. If Sock wins his first two matches, a potential third round showdown would be against fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany, who has lost to Sock in two of three career meetings.

Sock will be going for the fourth Grand Slam men’s doubles title of his career, playing this time with another fellow Nebraska native, former Omaha Burke state champion and Texas A&M All-American Jackson Withrow. Sock shot up to No. 2 in the world doubles rankings after combining with Mike Bryan to win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Nitto ATP finals last year.

Mike Bryan will be playing with his twin brother, Bob, in Australia, a duo that has won a record 16 Grand Slam titles. Bob Bryan sat out the last six months of 2018 because of a hip injury.

Sock and Withrow, who won an ATP title together last year at Delray Beach, Florida, will take on second-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia in the first round.

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