Croatian Matija Pecotic (pictured) beat American Jack Sock in three sets in the first round of the Delray Beach Open on Tuesday in Delray Beach, Fla. Photo by Sephiroth608/Wikimedia Commons
Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Matija Pecotic recently took a break from his full-time job at a real estate investment company to make his ATP Tour main draw debut. He scored an upset over No. 8 Jack Sock at Florida's Delary Beach Open.
Pecotic, a director at Wexford Real Estate Investors in Palm Beach, Fla., beat Sock 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the first-round match Tuesday. The Croatian will battle American Marcos Giron in the Round of 16.
"I'm just enjoying it and going as far as I can," Pecotic told the ATP Tour. "If not, I'll go back to work on Monday."
The winner of the Giron-Pecotic match will face either No. 4 Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia or qualifier Nuno Borges of Portugal in the quarterfinals.
Pecotic, 33, said he didn't think he would be included in the field due to his inactivity on the ATP Tour. He said he trains five or six times a week, including with his 70-year-old boss.
He won two qualifying matches to reach the main draw in Delray Beach.
"I'm in a moment of disbelief," Pecotic said. "I'm not ranked high enough anymore. I'm not playing on the tour because I have a full-time job. I have a protected ranking, so I tried to sign in as an alternate.
"On Friday night, I signed in and I didn't get it. I thought I didn't make it in the tournament. I left three tennis rackets to get strung. I woke up Saturday morning and said I better drive down to Delray to get my tennis rackets. When I showed up, the supervisor said 'there is a chance you might get in.'
"Thirty minutes before the first match, they said 'I think one guy is going to pull out, but it's not sure yet.' Then they said, 'I think you're in the tournament.'"
Pecotic didn't play professionally until after college. He made his professional debut at 24. He achieved a career-high ranking of No. 206 in 2015. He said he underwent surgery on his stomach and went on to sustain a staph infection.
He then took a break from tennis and attended Harvard Business School, where he obtained a master's degree in private equity and finance.
He said he "rediscovered his love" for the game when practicing with the Harvard tennis team while he was on campus. Pecotic earned a bachelor's degree in politics and finance from Princeton University.
The Delray Beach Open will run through Sunday.