Auckland - Jack Sock started a new tradition on Thursday,
one that the 23-year-old hopes will become a regular occurrence as he carves
out a successful tennis career.
The American overcame fourth-seed and world number 12 Kevin
Anderson 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his first Auckland Classic semi-final, which he
celebrated by taking off a shoe and giving one of his socks to a fan.
"We were talking about it in warm-up today," Sock
told reporters in Auckland. "Jo (Jo-Wilfred Tsonga) has got his thing, a
few people have their own things.
"I think with such a unique name that I have, we
figured I might start a new tradition and give a sock away if I win."
The American started poorly against the tall South African,
who blasted seven aces in a dominant opening set in which he raced through his
service games and broke the 26th-ranked Sock in the fourth and sixth games.
Sock settled in the second set and improved his return as
Anderson lost range and accuracy, tying up the quarter-final on his second
break and set point opportunity in the 10th game.
Anderson served better in the decider but Sock eked out
another break, again in the 10th game, to seal the contest in 98 minutes.
"I thought he came out firing and did not miss many
first serves, which against a guy like that, it was crucial for me he misses a
few," Sock added.
"I was able to get some balls in near the end and scrap
out some points. I'm looking forward to playing in the semis."
Sock will next face four-times champion David Ferrer after
the Spaniard completed a 6-3, 6-4 win over the Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol.
The 33-year-old Ferrer, who was granted a wildcard and took
the top seeding, was at his retrieving best on Thursday, forcing Rosol to
continually play an extra shot, while he converted three of his four break
"I have to play well to beat him," Ferrer said.
"I tried to serve good and be aggressive with my
forehand. The important thing is I am in the semi-finals playing good