The crowd was behind Jack Sock during his win Thursday evening against Gregoire Barrere at the BNP Paribas Open. The fans included a special guest: NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes.
Sock and Mahomes first met at the barber shop in Kansas City after the latter was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. Sock, a massive fan of the team who was at this year’s Super Bowl, was thrilled to have Mahomes in the crowd at Indian Wells, where the quarterback also watched the action Wednesday.
“I’m definitely the one usually watching the TV or in person watching him, so it’s beyond special. I had a message from him right after, so that was special as well,” Sock told ATPTour.com. “We’ve gotten to know each other over the past few years when I was in Kansas City before I moved to North Carolina. I got to know him and we were able to play golf a few times. Just an awesome dude.
“For the position he’s in, the legacy he’s building and everything, he’s just the most normal, down-to-earth guy. It’s definitely special to have him out here.”
Super Bowl MVP tour ✈️
🌴 Indian Wells#TennisParadise | @PatrickMahomes pic.twitter.com/RuOyMNTdkb
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 8, 2023
Sock first met Chiefs star Travis Kelce socialising in Kansas City. His friendship with the tight end helped him meet other members of the team. He still remembers meeting Mahomes at the barber shop.
“Right after he got drafted, most people didn’t know a tonne about him. He wasn’t Super Bowl MVP, all that, champ. I don’t even know if he had even been at practices at that point,” Sock said. “It was literally right after he got drafted. It was kind of cool to know him then and obviously just following and being a huge fan and a friend the whole way, it’s just so cool. He’s hopefully on pace, God-willing, to maybe be the GOAT one day. We’ll see, he’s killing it for sure.”
Indian Wells is known not just for its tennis, but also its golf courses. Who would win if they hit the links again?
“We both hit it a mile, so it’s probably whoever’s driving it that day,” Sock said, cracking a laugh. “It’d probably be a pretty good match, honestly!”
For now, Sock will continue to focus on the BNP Paribas Open, where he ousted Barrere 6-4, 6-2 to set a clash with 27th seed Francisco Cerundolo.
“He’s very, very tricky,” Sock said of Barrere. “The conditions were tough, obviously very cold, the ball wasn’t really going too far. Cold and slow, a little bit of wind at times.
“He has been playing really, really well the past six, eight months. Definitely happy with the win and going to look forward to the doubles with my guy John and the next singles.”