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Sock loses to full-time real estate investor in Delray Beach Open

For even the hardest of hardcore tennis fans, a true who?!?! moment took place at the Delray Beach Open on Tuesday night.

It’s one thing that Matija Pecotic is ranked No. 784 in the world, is 33 years old, and had never played a main-draw match at the ATP level prior to this week. It’s a whole ‘nother thing that Pectic is not even a full-time tennis player. Nope; his day job is in real estate investment. When time allows, he plays tennis–even if it’s with senior citizens.

“I try to train to the maximum every day,” he explained. “I hit the gym, go for a run after work. I sometimes train with my boss, who’s 70 years old, or another guy who’s in his late 50s.”

When that kind of competition isn’t enough, the graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School graduate plays local tournaments near his Florida residence.

So why not enter the Delray Beach ATP 250?!?! That’s exactly what Pecotic did, and he managed to get into the qualifying draw as alternate. Sure enough, he successfully qualified–for which his reward was a date with former world No. 8 Jack Sock in the opening round.

Continuing to defy the odds, Pecotic pulled off a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 upset in front of both his coach (former pro Dominik Hrbaty) and–of course–his boss.

“I certainly didn’t expect to win, but certainly didn’t come into the match thinking that I’m definitely going to lose,” Pecotic commented. “You’ve got to be realistic. This is a former top 10 guy with an incredible amount of tennis experience, with a huge serve. He came out serving 134 (mph) on the first serve. It would be arrogant to think that I’m going to come out and expect to win.

“But I certainly figured if I could sink my teeth into the match and work on the two or three patterns that I prepared before, that I’m going to have a chance. And then let’s see…if I was going to fall under pressure or not be able to serve it out at some point. But I didn’t and I got the win.”

That means at least one more day off from actual work will be necessary.

“I had to leave work early today,” Pecotic 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.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.