Real estate investor stuns Jack Sock in Delray Beach – ‘I’m going to have to ask for another day off’

Matija Pecotic plays a shot

Matija Pecotic reached his maiden ATP Tour main draw at the Delray Beach Open this week and he had to leave work early to make his debut, but it was worth the while as he upset former world No 8 Jack Sock.

Ranked No 784 in the world, Pecotic was a qualifier alternate and beat two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren en route to reaching the main draw of a top-level event for the first time in his career.

And the fairytale continued for the 33-year-old on Monday as he upset American Sock 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in a match that lasted over two hours.

To add even more fairy dust sprinkles to the story, the Croatian is a part-time player as is a full-time director at a real estate investor company – and his boss was in the stands to watch his match.

“I had to leave work early today,” the debutant joked. “I had to send an email to the whole team. My boss let me off. I’m going to have to ask for another day off tomorrow.”

He added: “You’ve got to be realistic. This is a former top 10 guy with an incredible amount of tennis experience and a huge serve. He came out serving 134mph on the first serve. It would be arrogant to think I’m going to come out and expect to win.

“But I figured if I could sink my teeth into the match and work on the two or three patterns I prepared before, that I’m going to have a chance.”

He will face another American in the second round as he takes on Marcos Giron – who upset eighth seed Ben Shelton – for a place in the quarter-final.

Pecotic, who represented Croatia at the inaugural United Cup at the start of the year, reached a career-high No 206 back in 2015 and he has climbed to No 574 in the Live Rankings, but he hopes there is more to come.

“I absolutely love this game and I know it’s not forever and I’m 33. I try to maximise each day. I try to train every morning if I can, five, six times a week,” he told earlier this week. “Sometimes I train with my boss, who is 70 years old. This week I trained with a guy who is probably in his late 50s. But you find creative ways to work around it.”

The winner of the Pecotic-Giron match will face either fourth seed Miomir Kecmanovic or qualifier Nuno Borges in the last eight.

American No 1 Taylor Fritz is the top seed at the event and he will open his campaign against Emilio Gomez on Wednesday while second seed Tommy Paul takes on Denis Kudla.