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Jack Draper proves his grass prowess defeating Carlos Alcaraz at Queen’s

Jack Draper recorded the biggest win of his career defeating reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 at Queen’s.

Draper Alcaraz Queens

The result came after the new British No.1 won his first ATP title on grass in Stuttgart just last week, beating Matteo Berrettini in the final.

Draper could now challenge Alcaraz and others at Wimbledon, becoming the first Brit to beat a top-2 player on grass since Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic to win tennis’ most esteemed tournament in 2013.

With his grandparents and school friends in attendance at one of his home tournaments, Draper said: “I’m thinking match by match. Obviously it’s amazing to beat someone like Carlos and that’s great, but in tennis you’ve got to go again the next day.

“I’ve got to go again tomorrow against a great player in Tommy Paul, I’m not going to get too high on this win. It’s nice to reflect at the end of the week but my main priority is tomorrow because anyone here can beat you if you’re not on your game.”

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Alcaraz had a perfect 2023 on grass winning both Queen’s and Wimbledon, but this year Draper put a stop in the Spaniard’s tracks.

The world No. 2 recently became the youngest men’s player to win a Grand Slam across all three surfaces after triumph at Roland-Garros, aged 21.

Alcaraz said: “It doesn’t change too much for me. Course, I wanted to keep playing matches but it doesn’t change nothing. I’m going to keep practising 100% to be a little bit better for Wimbledon.”

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Just 22 himself, this turned a corner for the part-time model Draper who had previously gone 2-11 against top 10 ranked opponents and missed last year’s tournament through injury.

Progressing in the cinch Championships, he will now look to become the first Brit to win at Queen’s since five-time champion Murray’s last victory in 2016, with USA’s Paul up next in the quarter-final.

From the off, the left-handed Draper looked a worthy challenger with his ripping forehands and array of dropshots, forcing deuce in Alcaraz’s opening service game.

A bee bothered Alcaraz while he served in game five, but it turned out Draper was his biggest pest, able to break him twice in the decisive set.

Alcaraz summarised his vulnerability in the seventh game of the second set, when the score remained fixed in deuce with Alcaraz unable to serve it out.

With a bone to pick with the ATP, Alcaraz said: “Yes, I absolutely felt I was being rushed by the serve clock. I was told there were new rules that the clock never stops. After the ball is finished, the clock is put on which is bad for the players.

“When I finished the points at the net, I had no time to ask for the balls. That’s crazy, I’ve never seen something like that in tennis.”

When it came to serving out the game however, Draper made no mistake.

Author

  • Eduardo Tansley

    Trying to tell stories he would want to read, whether that's Dominican football or British basketball, Eduardo has interviewed sports people from CEOs to athletes on the rise. @tansleyeduardo