London | Draper shocks Alcaraz with impressive victory

London | Draper stuns Alcaraz

There will definitely be life after Andy Murray eventually hangs up his racket as Jack Draper is now poised to be the player to step up and hopefully emulate the great Scot’s record over the coming years.

It was a really tough match, I knew (that) coming out here. Carlos is the defending champion and won Wimbledon last year, He is an incredible talent and so great for the sport, so I had to come out and play really well. Jack Draper

While fans wait to hear news of the 37-year-old’s latest injury and whether he will be fit enough to play Wimbledon and/or the Paris Olympics, the 22-year-old from Sutton was scoring the best win of his career at the Queen’s Club’s cinch Championships when he defeated the defending and Wimbledon champion, Carlos Alvaraz in straight sets.

In what was the performance of his young career, Draper, world ranked 31 and recently established as the British No.1 followed up winning his first title (Stuttgart) last weekend by ousting the top seed 7-6(3) 6-3.

The opening set was closely fought as Draper matched Alcaraz with his power and serving and in the tiebreak, he simply outplayed the young Spanish world No.2 who is already the holder of three grand slam titles.

The pair were neck-and-neck during the opening nine games of the first set and in the next, Alcaraz had the first chance of a break but was unable to convert as Draper saved it with one of his powerful serves.

And that serve served him well in the tiebreak which he dominated to take the first set and more importantly, managed to keep his focus and maintain that momentum into the second set to lead 2-1 and raise his first breakpoint of the match.

He converted with a superb backhand to pull ahead 4-2 but almost lost his advantage in the next game, staving off a breakpoint to edge closer to securing an unbelievable victory which he celebrated with a huge leap in the air..

Carlos Alcaraz’s frustrations mounted as the match progressed

(Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images for LTA)

However, getting over the finishing line proved tricky and he saw two match points swatted away by Alcaraz before finally closing it out for his first win in three meetings with the Spaniard.

“It was a really tough match, I knew (that) coming out here. Carlos is the defending champion and won Wimbledon last year,” a beaming Draper said. “He is an incredible talent and so great for the sport, so I had to come out and play really well.

“Luckily I did, so thank you.”

“There is no place I would rather be right now, with my family and friends, the British support has been amazing.

“I want to keep on playing here, I have been desperate to come back.

“I have got my grandad here in the Under Armour. He has just turned 80, and he is doing well.

“Thank you.”

Draper will now face the American Tommy Paul in the quarter finals who opened the day’s play by beating the Chilean Alejandro Tabilo 6-3 6-4 in what will be their fifth meeting. Paul, ranked 13, trails 3-1 but his win came at this year’s Australian Open last January.

There was more good news for British tennis as Billy Harris, the 29-year-old wildcard from Nottingham, followed up his excellent first round win with another strong performance to defeat the French qualifier, Giovanni Mpteshi Perricard, the Lyon champion, 6-4 7-5. His next opponent though, is the tricky Italian Lorenzo Musetti who took out American Brandon Nakashima 6-4 4-6 6-4 in the last match of the day.

Billy Harris clocks up another win

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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