The Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells men’s final is set, after an incredible week of action-packed matches across the board on both the American and International sides. As the dust has settled on Saturday evening, there are only two competitors remaining.
It’ll be an underdog with a storied past vs. a pre-tournament favorite, as former World No. 8 Jack Sock meets No. 5 seed Steve Johnson with the title on the line. Expect a packed house on Sunday in the desert, as the all-American matchup is sure to bring out some of the biggest crowds of the week.
Former World No. 8 Jack Sock has looked in vintage form throughout the week in the desert. Downing higher-ranked opponents including tournament No. 1 seed Ugo Humbert, No. 13 seed Evgeny Donskoy, No. 11 seed Denis Kudla and rising 18-year-old American Brandon Nakashima. ‘
On Saturday afternoon, he overcame a tremendous performance from Nakashima in a thrilling 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 affair. Sock served up twelve aces and saved an astonishing 80% (4/5) of his opponent’s break point opportunities to advance to Sunday’s final.
There he’ll meet Johnson, as the Southern California native and four-time ATP Tour champion defeated fellow countryman Mitchell Krueger in convincing 6-4, 6-4 straight-set fashion. While Saturday was a disappointing conclusion to Krueger’s 2019-2020 Oracle Challenger Series, his time in the desert is only beginning after claiming the fourth and final main draw wild card into the 2020 BNP Paribas Open.
For Johnson, the World No. 75, he’ll take the court on Sunday with a perfect opportunity to claim his second ATP Challenger Tour title of 2020. It’s been a tremendous week so far for the American, as he’s dropped only one total set en route to victories over Marc Polmans, Taro Daniel, Noah Rubin and Krueger.
“I always enjoy being out here in the desert and competing. Being a Southern California guy, I consider Indian Wells my home tournament and it’s long been my favorite spot to play throughout the year.”
Johnson knows a matchup against a player of Sock’s caliber will bring its own set of challenges, but he’s staying positive by focusing on his own improvements throughout the week. “I thought I played the break points well today and that’s been a big improvement for me. I’m excited to play another match out here and see what I can do.”
Don’t miss any of tomorrow’s action at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, as the men’s final is set to take place after the women’s final, not before 12:30pm.