Jack Draper continues rise up the rankings as he beats Fabio Fognini with Dominic Thiem up next
Jack Draper’s fine 2022 continued as he defeated veteran Fabio Fognini at the Winston-Salem Open and his reward is a third-round clash against Dominic Thiem.
The British No 4 came into the tournament on the back of an impressive run at the ATP Masters 1000 Canadian Open where he came through qualifying to reach the quarter-final, defeating third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas en route.
And on Tuesday he produced another quality display at the ATP 250 event against the former world No 9, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in just under two hours.
The 20-year-old made a poor start to the match as he was broken in the opening game, but hit back immediately and then broke again in games six and eight to take the set.
Set two had a similar theme with the duo sharing early breaks before the Italian got the pivotal break in game seven to take it to a decider.
The Brit controlled proceedings in the third set as he raced into a 5-0 lead before wrapping up the match on his first match point.
Jack Draper 🇬🇧 closes it out 💪
The 20-year-old outlasts F. Fognini 🇮🇹 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. #wsopen | 🎥 @TennisONEApp pic.twitter.com/H7hyoyJCqH
— Winston-Salem Open (@WSOpen) August 24, 2022
Draper reached a career-high No 55 in the ATP Rankings after his run in Montreal and he is projected to move up to No 52 after his latest win, leaving him just three places adrift of British No 3 and three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray.
Draper’s big wins in 2022
The 20-year-old started the year at No 265 in the ATP Rankings and started his year by playing several ATP Challenger Tour events, winning three titles in Italy and one in France.
His first win on the ATP Tour this year came at the Miami Open where he reached the second round, while he also won matches in Madrid and at Queen’s Club.
He reached the semi-final at Eastbourne, beating fourth seed Diego Schartzman in the process before falling in the second round at Wimbledon.
He then kicked off his North American swing with a couple of wins at the Atlanta Open and Citi Open before his quarter-final appearance in Montreal.
Up next is 2020 US Open champion Thiem after the Austrian advanced when top seed Grigor Dimitrov retired.
Wildcard Thiem made a nightmare start against the Bulgarian as he was bagelled in the opening set, but started to find a rhythm before Dimitrov retired with the score 6-0, 2-4.
“The most important [thing] today is that Grigor gets well very soon again,” Thiem said. “The match is not the priority; that’s never the way I want to win a match, especially against Grigor.”
The winner of the Draper-Thiem clash will face either 11th seed Ilya Ivashka or qualifier Marc-Andrea Husler in the quarter-final.
Second seed Botic van de Zandschulp won an all-Netherlands encounter as he beat compatriot Tallon Griekspoor 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 to set up a clash against Spaniard Jaume Munar, who beat Jason Cheng 6-3, 6-4.
Former British No 1 Kyle Edmund, who is still nursing his way back following an extended period on the sidelines due to injury, fell in the second round as he lost 6-4, 7-6 (5) against French 10th seed Benjamin Bonzi.
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