Britain's Draper is knocked out of Wimbledon after losing to de Minaur
Britain’s Jack Draper is knocked out of Wimbledon after losing in four sets to Alex de Minaur… as the Australian boyfriend of Katie Boulter dominates in thriller to book his place in third round
- Britain’s Jack Draper was knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round
- The young Brit was beat 7-5 6-7 (0-7) 2-6 3-6 by Australian Alex de Minaur
- Draper beat Zizou Bergs 6-4 6-4 7-6 (4) in the first round at Wimbledon
Alex de Minaur made it a golden day for Wimbledon’s newest power couple as he outlasted Britain’s Jack Draper, with girlfriend Katie Boulter watching on from the stands.
But the Australian No 19 seed had to use all his street-fighting abilities to hold off the barrage from Draper long enough for his superior fitness to pay off.
The 20-year-old Draper has long been considered the brightest men’s talent in British tennis but the quality of his play in the first half of this match still came as a surprise. He looked exhausted by the end as he went down 5-7, 7-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Jack Draper was knocked out of Wimbledon after defeat to Australian Alex de Minaur
The 20-year-old has long been considered the brightest men’s talent in British tennis
It felt a little like Andy Murray’s five-set loss to David Nalbandian in 2005, when the Scottish teenager’s talent could not be matched by his cramping body. If Draper can replicate even a scrap of the glories which followed that match, he will have a fine career indeed.
At 4-3 in the opening set there was a brief shower and as the roof closed thousands of fans spilled on to Court 1, including Boulter, fresh off her upset of Karolina Pliskova next door on Centre.
The Wimbledon courts play faster and truer under the lights and that favoured Draper’s power game. His lefty serve and forehand are the standout strokes but his backhand was exceptional last night in both attack and defence.
De Minaur is a high-class player with lightning feet and metronomic consistency; Lleyton Hewitt was in his support box last night and there is a little of the former Wimbledon champion about the 23-year-old’s game.
The young Brit lost 7-5 6-7 (0-7) 2-6 3-6 to the 19th seed on Court 1 on Thursday
Alex de Minaur (pictured) proved a difficult opponent for the young tennis star
Yet as the first set progressed, Draper outgunned him. Perhaps more impressively, he stayed with him in the longer rallies that ought to have favoured the Aussie.
At 5-5, Draper made his attack on the De Minaur serve. His southpaw forehand has a little of the Rafael Nadal about it in the way it can be either ripped with vicious topspin or flattened out.
One running passing shot slapped down the line to go 30-0 up on the De Minaur serve was right out of the Spaniard’s playbook. Draper broke from there and served the set out 7-5.
The pattern of the match continued into the second set: Draper dictating and De Minaur, his shirt by now translucent with sweat, scurrying around behind the baseline.
Boulter was nervously biting her lip in his support box as De Minaur clung on, saving five break points while not laying a glove on the Draper serve.
Draper admitted in Surbiton last week that his body was not yet ready for five-set combat. With that in mind, the second-set tiebreak felt crucial to his chances of victory. But De Minaur snuffed out his hopes by winning it to love, Draper resorting to a desperate underarm serve at 6-0 down.
Draper fought valiantly to stay in the match but was ultimately unable to overturn the deficit
From there Draper began to visibly tire while De Minaur’s quicksilver feet got even faster. The home player’s serve, which had looked so impregnable, was now under siege almost every game.
De Minaur began to thread more of his trademark passing shots past his opponent and Boulter sat a little easier in her chair.
Draper looked shattered by the end as De Minaur cantered home to set up a meeting with another Brit, Liam Broady.
Broady, 28, had earlier cliamed the best of his career — beating 12th seed Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 4-6, 0-6, 7-6, 6-1 on Court 3.
It wasn’t expected, especially as Broady lost 11 games in a row midway through the match. ‘I had you all fooled,’ joked the Wimbledon wildcard afterwards.
De Minaur will now face another Brit, Liam Broady, in the next round of the competition
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