Wimbledon 2017: Jack Sock comes to the rescue of young fan after his towel is stolen
American #17 seed Jack Sock, who yesterday took his first round win at Wimbledon, showed his softer side following a post-match altercation in the stands. The 24-year-old, who won his Wimbledon opener against Chile’s Christian Garin 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3, toweled off following the match, and upon seeing a young boy in the stands asking for the towel, tossed it to him.
This is something many tennis players do, and it leaves spectators with a bit of memorabilia from their favourite players’ matches. But on this occasion, the boy, who looked to be about 11 years old, was midway through catching the towel when a man in the front row – just seated ahead of him, grabbed it too. The older gentleman, seated there with his wife, stared down and looked to be saying some cross words to the young boy as he pulled harder on the towel.
The boy relented, but had lost the towel. In the meantime, Sock looked to be asking the man’s wife to return the towel, and although she was seen acknowledging his response, the two walked away with the towel nevertheless.
The pair were met with derision and scorn for their behaviour on social media, with several users online – some of whom were seated at the match describing them as “immature” and their behaviour as ‘horrific’ and ‘greedy.’
But the incident did not go unnoticed. Sock later went on to his Twitter account asking his followers if they could “find the little boy,” saying he would be happy to replace the young child’s towel, sign it personally and meet him.
The tweet later gained steam, with organizers at the US Open and Australian Open offering to chip in with towels of their own, while American doubles player Rajeev Ram replied saying the couple’s behaviour was “unbelievable.”
Sock is currently the top-ranked American on the ATP at 18th , and reached Round 3 of the men’s singles at Wimbledon – his best ever finish there, last year. Sock is a title holder here in the doubles, winning the title in 2014 with Canadian Vasek Pospisil.
He will now face Sebastian Ofner of Austria in Round 2.