Jack Draper too good for ‘amazing player’ Dominic Thiem with top 50 ranking now waving at him

Jack Draper applauding

Jack Draper made it back-to-back quarter-finals on the ATP Tour as he took out 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the third round of the Winston-Salem Open.

Fresh from reaching the last four at the ATP Masters 1000 Canadian Open a fortnight ago, Draper eased past Thiem for a third top level quarter-final appearance.

The 20-year-old, who made it to the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International in June, produced a dominant display against the former world No 3, who is yet to regain his best form following a wrist injury, winning 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 20 minutes.

“I started confidently, I started well,” the world No 55 said. “I was hitting through the ball, felt good in the conditions. It was a difficult start because I felt like everyone was supporting Dominic and I knew that I needed to come out confidently and sharp, and that’s what I did.”

That confident start saw him open a 5-0 lead with breaks in games two and four as he eventually won the set in under 30 minutes. The youngster dropped only three points on serve in the opening set.

Thiem upped his game in the second set and it went according to serve, saving break points in games five and seven before Draper eventually got the breakthrough in game nine.

“I was really good behind serve, really solid,” the British No 4 said. “In the second set it was tough because he was coming up with some amazing shots. It was a real honour to be on court with Dominic. He’s an amazing player.”

Top 50 and a first ATP Tour title in sight

Draper is already assured of reaching a career-high No 52 with a projected 879 points in the ATP Rankings after reaching the quarter-final, but he will fancy his chances of hitting the top 50 and possibly winning the title.

He faces world No 102 Marc-Andrea Huesler in the last eight after the Swiss took out defending champion and 11th seed Ilya Ivashka 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 7-6 (7-3). Victory over Huesler will see him edge closer to the top 50 with three-time Grand Slam winner and fellow Brit Andy Murray currently occupying the spot with 930 points.

If he comes through that match, then he will face the winner of the Laslo Dere and Richard Gasquet match, but the bottom half of the draw still contains big names.

Second seed Botic van de Zandschulp and 10th seed Benjamin Bonzi are battling it out in one quarter-final while fourth seed Maxime Cressy takes on Adrian Mannarino.