Jack Draper started the big time by upsetting sixth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round of the US Open.
The 20-year-old Londoner has established himself as one of football’s most exciting young talents this year and went into Wednesday night’s game against Auger-Aliassime confident he could win.
He backed that up spectacularly, taking control of the competition from game one and never faltering with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory that will propel him into the top 50 for the first time.
However, it’s clear he can go much higher – Draper has spoken of wanting to emulate his girlfriend Emma Raducanu – and this was a superb display of aggressive punching and poise on one of the sport’s biggest stages.
He had threatened a big result at Wimbledon when he led Alex De Minaur by a set before slacking off physically, but by how fast Draper is improving, two months already seems like a long time ago.
He has since beaten Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach his maiden ATP Masters quarterfinals in Montreal and clinched his first Slam win outside of Wimbledon over Emil Ruusuvuori in round one.
Auger-Aliassime, a semi-finalist here 12 months ago, made a nervous start and Draper fell with a break in the opening game.
He had chances to advance further but then showed cool head and excellent defensive prowess to win the set after coming under pressure for the first time.
For the most part, though, Draper’s big serve kept him at bay, and that was the only game in the match where he had break points.
What’s so impressive about Draper is his all-around ability. The big serve and forehand are his obvious weapons, but he likes to hit the net and his movement has improved exponentially in the last year.
A stunning backhand pass down the line gave the British number four a break to make it 4-3 in the second set and he was there again in the fifth game of the third, Auger-Aliassime this time being left helpless by a cross-court dink.
Draper could have been forgiven for having some nerve to serve for the biggest win of his life, but instead he sped across the finish line to avoid a clash with Karen Khachanov, who was 27th.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/jack-draper-felix-augeraliassime-emma-raducanu-faa-wimbledon-b2157186.html Jack Draper upsets Felix Auger-Aliassime in US Open second round