WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN 2014
Sock In Nick Of Time For First Pitch
by ATP Staff|
It hasn't all been about tennis for the players at this week’s ATP World Tour tournament. ATPWorldTour.com provides a recap of the highlights.
Western & Southern Open - Cincinnati, U.S.A.
With only a minute to spare, Jack Sock sprinted through the bowels of the Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati, out onto the pitch and straight onto the mound to throw the first pitch in the game between Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox.
Earlier, Sock and his Wimbledon champion doubles partner, Vasek Pospisil, had maintained their undefeated status with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi. But with the match not finishing until 5:20pm, it was a race against time for Sock to shower and battle the rush-hour traffic to the stadium.
During a journey that should have only taken 30 minutes, but which crawled by at more than an hour, an anxious Sock was messaging ATP PR & Marketing official Greg Sharko, worrying about the heavy traffic and what he would do if he made it on time.
When his moment came, Sock delivered what he lamented as a “slightly” low pitch, but enjoyed the moment that was watched by 40,000 baseball fans. The American and his team then stayed to watch the game, sat just 10 rows back behind the pitcher.
Ahead of the tournament, Sock and his team visited Kings Island theme park. The American lived it up on a series of thrilling rollercoasters alongside Danielle Dotzenrod as he featured in the Tennis Channel’s Tour Guide Show.
"It was a lot of fun," said Sock. "I'm thankful to Tennis Channel for inviting me out to do this. I love rollercoasters. Growing up, I rode a bunch. So it was fun to come out here and be a part of it. Read More & Watch
Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares joined WTA star Petra Kvitova on a visit to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital. The No. 3 duo in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings signed t-shirts and were interviewed in the Seacrest Studios.
“It was very nice,” said Soares. “I visited three years ago and it was very nice to be part of that. It was very interesting this year with the new studio. It was a lot of fun, and I think it’s a great idea. For us it’s just amazing experience, going there and chatting a little bit with the kids.”
Peya and Soares’s interview was shown over the hospital's network in the children's rooms.
“That’s something very special they have there, to have the live feed into all the rooms,” said Peya, who was making his first visit. “They even have the chance to ask questions from the room, and they did a few fun games with Bruno and Petra. It was very fun interaction with the kids and it was very fun visiting the hospital.”
A day earlier, the Rogers Cup doubles champions made the overnight drive from Toronto to Cincinnati to take part in the all-star ATP Doubles Showdown presented by ATP ACES For Charity. Seven teams, including top-seeded Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, entertained fans through doubles drills and an interactive exhibition. The participants were each awarded $1,500 ATP ACES For Charity cheques for their respective charities. Read More & Watch
Andy Murray doused Justin Gimelstob with two buckets of ice, live on air, after issuing the #IceBucketChallenge to the ATP Board Member. Murray also took the plunge with members of his team a few weeks ago, in aid of the fight against ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
“Obviously we witnessed someone going through this right in front of our eyes with Brad Drewett, and it was tough to watch,” said Murray. “It’s great to raise awareness for it and hopefully we can raise a lot of money to try and help find a cure.” Read More & Watch
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