Jack Draper beat Andy Murray in straight sets to reach the fourth round of Indian Wells, where he will face world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz.
In a first tour meeting between the two Brits, it was Draper, 21, who prevailed 7-6(6) 6-2 after saving a set point in the opening set.
“I’ve looked up to Andy since I was so young,” said Draper.
“I watched him win Wimbledon for the first time in 2013 and then I’ve had the opportunity to get to know him and practise with him often since 2019.
“He’s a really special person, a great champion, great human being and I’m privileged to play against him on this court.”
Draper showed no signs of nerves on a big occasion as he started positively and secured the first break to move 3-1 ahead.
Draper continued to apply pressure but missed the chance for a double break as Murray held from 15-40 down in the seventh game.
Murray then broke to love as Draper tried to serve out the set.
Draper spurned three chances to break straight back before saving a set point with an ace.
The tie-break was tight with neither player winning two points in a row from 3-3 until Draper found the edge to close out the set.
The second set was dominated by serve early on, with just two points going to the returner in the opening five games.
But Draper got the first break to lead 4-2 and then escaped from 15-40 down in the next game.
The 21-year-old sealed the win by breaking from 0-40 down.
“I want to keep on trying to impose my game and use my weapons,” said Draper.
“It’s not easy in these conditions. It’s quite slow tonight, the wind was a bit swirly and obviously playing against Andy, he makes it incredibly awkward for you. It’s something I’m looking to improve with my coach and it’s definitely starting to pay off a little bit more.”
Alcaraz advanced with a 7-6(4) 6-3 victory over Tallon Griekspoor.
It will be Draper’s second meeting against the world No. 2, who won in three sets the last time they met in Basel in October.
“Beating Dan and Andy, that’s about as much confidence as I’d need for that match,” said Draper.
“Carlos is another level up, he’s been No. 1 in the world, had an exceptional year last year, so it would be amazing to play him again in another real battle.”
Alcaraz clocked his 100th win to reach the fourth round and has a chance of getting back to world No. 1 if he wins the title in Indian Wells.
Looking ahead to his second clash with Draper, he said: “I’m ready. I love playing those kind of matches.
“Jack’s playing really well. I played against him just once in Basel, not a long time ago. It was really tough. I know that I have to put my best level, I have to show my 100 per cent to [beat] a great opponent like Jack.
“I think it’s going to be a really beautiful match to watch for the crowd and obviously I’m going to enjoy the match.”
Jannik Sinner also advanced with a 7-6(7) 6-4 victory over Adrian Mannarino and defending champion Taylor Fritz won 6-1 6-2 against Sebastian Baez.
– – –
Read the full article here
Leave a Reply