Former BNP Paribas Open singles semi-finalist Jack Sock leads the main draw wild cards at the season’s first ATP Masters 1000 event, the tournament announced Saturday. Four other Americans also received a wild card: two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren, 18-year-old Brandon Nakashima, Marco Giron and Mitchell Krueger.
Sock, who reached the last four at Indian Wells in 2017, has climbed as high as No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Currently World No. 768 after struggling with injuries, Sock has shown improved form at this week’s ATP Challenger Tour event held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. He upset top-seeded Ugo Humbert in straight sets before battling past No. 13 seed Evgeny Donskoy and No. 11 seed Denis Kudla, both in three sets, to make the semi-finals.
Sock’s opponent in that Challenger semi-final, Nakashima, is enjoying a breakthrough season. The teen won his first two tour-level matches at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com, and now he is two victories from earning his maiden ATP Challenger Tour crown.
Sandgren’s FedEx ATP Ranking of World No. 55 would be plenty to get him into the main draw if the cut-off was today, but it came before his run at this year’s Australian Open, where he fell just short against Roger Federer in the quarter-finals. The 28-year-old won his first ATP Tour title last year in Auckland, and he will be competing in the Indian Wells main draw for the third consecutive year.
Giron and Krueger were awarded wild cards based on their performance over the course of the 2019-2020 Oracle Challenger Series, according to the tournament’s press release. Giron earned one of the biggest results of his career at last year’s BNP Paribas Open, qualifying, and then defeating Jeremy Chardy and Alex de Minaur to reach the third round, in which he lost a three-setter against Milos Raonic.
Krueger is in the semi-finals of this week’s Indian Wells Challenger, and he also reached the last four of the Newport Beach Challenger earlier in the year, defeating Taylor Fritz at that event.