Around the Tour: Draper downs defending champ

TOP-RANKED Brit Jack Draper produced the biggest upset of his career by downing world number two and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz at the Cinch Championships in London overnight. Draper won in a tight two-set contest 7-6 6-3 to put Alcaraz spot at number two in the world in threat ahead of Wimbledon.

Prior to the match draper was coming off an impressive title in Stuttgart, the first of his ATP Tour career, while Alcaraz had stormed to the win on the clay of Roland Garros to win his third Grand Slam title.

“It was a really tough match,” Draper said post-match “I knew coming out here Carlos is defending champion here, obviously won Wimbledon last year. [He is an] incredible talent and so amazing for the sport. So I had to come out and play really well and luckily I did today, so thank you.”

In a match that lasted an hour and 39 minutes, Draper served eight aces to seven and won a whopping 82 per cent (32/39) of his first serve points and 67 per cent (18/27) of his second serve points en route to victory.

Both players produced outstanding tennis much to the crowd’s delight, but with the London crowd behind the Brit, Draper found an extra level, breaking midway through the second set and racing to a 5-2 lead. That was all that was required to close out the match, ending Alcaraz’s 13-match winning streak on the surface, and moving up to 28th in the world in the process.

“There’s no place I’d rather be right now [with] my family, my friends,” Draper said. “The British support, you guys are amazing and I want to keep on playing here.”

Next up for Draper is a man he holds a 3-1 head-to-head record against in fifth seed Tommy Paul. The American proved too strong for Chilean Alejandro Tabilo at the Queen’s Club, winning 6-3 6-4. In the other Round of 16 results, Italian Lorenzo Musetti defeated American Brandon Nakashima, while British wildcard Billy Harris ended the run of towering French qualifier Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard, 6-4 7-5.


ATP 500 | Terra Wortmann Open

German Jan-Lennard Struff caused a big upset of Greek talent Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the quarter finals, defeating the sixth seed in straight sets 6-4 6-4 to set up a last eight clash with world number one, Jannik Sinner. The top seeded Italian had to fight to get past Hungarian Fabian Marozsan in three sets 6-4 6-7 6-3, while in other results, Hubert Hurkacz and Marcos Giron will face off in the quarter finals after knocking off James Duckworth and Matteo Berrettini respectively.

WTA 500 | Berlin Ladies Open

A serious injury to Marketa Vondrousova forced the Wimbledon champion to retire from her match against Russian Anna Kalinskaya in the Round of 16, as the tournament played catch-up from some recent wet weather. Seven of the eight Round of 16 matches took place, with top four seeds Aryna Sabalenka, Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina and Jessica Pegula all moving through. Eighth seed Ons Jabeur scraped past talented teenager Linda Noskova, while Czech qualifier Katerina Siniakova upset Chinese sixth seed Qinwen Zheng in straight sets.

WTA 250 | Rothesay Classic

In Birmingham, the second round results were completed with second seed Barbora Krejcikova a rare seeded survivor in the draw. She defeated local hope and wildcard Harriet Dart 6-3 6-4, while Russian talent Diana Shnaider ended the run of eighth seeded Marie Bouzkova, 7-6 6-3. Kazakh Yulia Putintseva defeated Anhelina Kalinina in a dominant 6-3 6-0 performance, while Belgian fifth seed Elise Mertens was forced to retire against American lucky loser Caroline Dolehide when 6-3 3-0 down.

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