Jack Sock had a modest 31-19 record for the year prior to this week’s Masters 1000 tournament in Paris. The American had claimed two titles in the beginning of the year (Auckland and Delray Beach), but has since struggled to regain that sort of winning form. Thus it came as a surprise when the 22nd ranked player in the world raced all the way through to the final in Paris.

Although few expected Sock to be one of two men remaining on Sunday, there is no doubt that his startling way to the final pales in comparison to his opponent’s, the 77th ranked Filip Krajinovic. The Serbian has been hugely successful in Challenger tournaments in 2017. However, his appearances on the ATP World Tour can be counted on one hand. The 25-year-old sensation arrived to the final with impressive wins over Sam Querrey, Nicolas Mahut, David Goffin and John Isner. Krajinovic got a free pass to the semifinals, where he defeated the aforementioned Isner, when Rafael Nadal pulled out due to a knee injury.

Despite his lack of experience against the best players in the world, Krajinovic showed no signs of nerves as he closed out his first service game with a beautifully struck cross court forehand winner. Instead it was the more experienced Sock who faltered first when serving at 2-3. The Serb reached his first break point and quite unexpectedly, the American’s usual fine serving abandoned him as he double faulted. Krajinovic gave the break back straight away, however, as his inside out forehand floated just wide.

The players were headed into a tiebreak. Or at least so it seemed, but Krajinovic had other things on his mind. At 6-5, 30-30 he created a set point and when Sock’s forehand hit the net on the following point, the first set belonged to the Serb: 7-5 after 46 minutes.

The 22nd ranked Sock, who would qualify to the World Tour Finals with a win in the final, responded in the second set as he broke his opponent’s serve immediately. The American broke yet again to go up 4-1, but gave one of the breaks back when his forehand misfired and hit the net. But the 25-year-old regrouped and closed out the set: 6-4.

Sock looked the more lively player of the two and with a brilliant forehand down the line on the run, he got the early break he needed in the deciding set. With another fantastic winner – this time a backhand passing shot – he went up 4-1 and with closing distance to claiming his first-ever Masters title.

When Sock held his own serve in 54 seconds, Krajinovic hope for a comeback faded even further away. Sock reached championship point in the following game and when Krajinovic’s backhand sailed long, the title was the American’s. He won: 5-7, 6-4, 6-1. The victory means that Sock has now secured a place at the World Tour Finals in London 12th to 19th of November.