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Jack Draper stuns Carlos Alcaraz at Queens Club in statement win | Tennis

Jack Draper stuns Carlos Alcaraz at Queens Club in statement win |  Tennis
Jack Draper stuns Carlos Alcaraz at Queens Club in statement win |  Tennis

 


Even as Jack Draper began to process his desperate first-round defeat at the French Open in his press conference three weeks ago, he still managed to combine his pain and frustration with an impressive perspective. Draper realized he was in the midst of a major adjustment to his game and that now was the time to continue to trust his work.

Things can change so quickly in tennis and Draper hasn't lost a match since that miserable moment. On Thursday, he continued this spectacular breakthrough with by far the best win of his life, beating top seed and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the second round in Queens.

At a time when Andy Murray's career appears to be in its final stages, Britain's next leading men's player is finally making noise at the top of the game. Draper is, incredibly, the first British man to achieve a top-two win on grass since Murray defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2013 Wimbledon final. He is also the first British man in 52 years to win the top seed at Queens beats.

While it came about in the last two weeks, it won't happen overnight, he said.

This has been going on for years. So I'm really happy with how things have come together over the last few weeks, as you said, especially this time on the grass in front of the home crowd, and hopefully I can continue this momentum and keep building.

Last week, Draper claimed his first ATP title in Stuttgart by beating 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini in his third final. Despite immediately heading back to London for his home tournament, he has continued the momentum. When he faced the reigning French Open and Wimbledon champion, he was fully aware that he had a great opportunity. While Alcaraz proved his quality on grass last year, this was only his second match on grass in 2024 and he was still finding his feet on grass.

As in recent weeks, Draper's determination to attack and dictate to opponents continues to pay off. He served brilliantly from the start and played through his service games with ease as they reached a first set tiebreak. With the set on the line, Draper was the player willing to attack in neutral rallies, making early gains and closing the net whenever possible as he quickly built a 6-1 lead. Alcaraz was far from poor, but his insecurity was punished.

With the first set secure, Draper opened his shoulders and played freely. He broke serve with another burst of aggressive tennis, hitting away a forehand volley to set up a break point and then hitting a backhand return winner to break serve. Under pressure in his last two service games, Draper hit an incredible backhand half-volley winner to save a break point at 4-2, then rallied from 0-30 in the final service game with an excellent serve to secure a incredible victory.

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Draper has now risen into the top 30 of the live rankings and is likely to be seeded at Wimbledon. Most importantly, he still has one more match to play and a chance to make an even bigger mark at Queens, a tournament he attended as a child. He will face fifth seed Tommy Paul on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

I'm not going to get too high on this win, Draper said. Of course it's fun to think about things when you're done with the week and the wins you've had, but my main priority right now is making sure I'm doing everything I can to be as prepared as possible for tomorrow, because anyone at this level, if you are, not quite on your game, they can beat you.

Sources

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/sport/article/2024/jun/20/jack-draper-carlos-alcaraz-queens-club-tennis

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