American Jack Sock made a successful French Open debut Tuesday while wearing initials on his shoes in honor of two friends who died recently in separate car accidents.
Sock, a 20-year-old from Lincoln, Neb., beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 and acknowledged mixed emotions afterward. One of the crash victims was a high school teammate, and the other was a friend he played with in juniors tournaments.
''They were both 21, I think - sophomores, juniors in college,'' Sock said. ''Kind of hits you out of nowhere. I was definitely thinking of them out there.''
Ranked 118th, Sock reached the main draw by winning three matches in qualifying. He has an unimpressive record on the green clay common in the United States but said Europe's red clay is different, and he likes it better.
''I'll always look forward to coming back here,'' he said. ''Growing up I didn't play a whole lot on it, but I loved playing on it when I did. Coming over here and playing on the real stuff has been gr...