Jack Draper beats Jannik Sinner at Queen’s to secure first ATP Tour singles win
British teenager Jack Draper secured a first ATP Tour singles win by claiming the notable scalp of world number 23 Jannik Sinner on day one of the cinch Championships.
Wild card Draper, 19, just four months his Italian opponent’s junior but 286 places below him in the rankings, won two tie-breaks in a surprise 7-6 (7-6), 7-6 (7-2) victory.
The match was played in front of spectators, with just over 2,000 allowed into Queen’s Club under the current coronavirus restrictions, and Draper wowed the returning crowd with his first win over a player in the top 200.
— cinch Championships (@QueensTennis) June 14, 2021
Third seed Sinner, who reached the last 16 of the French Open last week, threatened to hand out a chastening defeat when he raced into a 4-0 lead, but left-hander Draper showed great resolve to battle back to 6-6.
Sinner had two set points in the tie-break but was unable to convert either as Draper, runner-up in the boys singles at Wimbledon in 2018, took the initiative.
In the second set Sinner served at 5-4 to level the match but Draper broke back before forcing another tie-break, which he dominated.
Draper made his ATP Tour debut earlier this year in Miami, pushing Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in the first set before collapsing in the heat.
Having secured his maiden victory on the UK’s hottest day of the year so far – the temperature hit 28 in west London – Draper said: “Miami was a bit of a wake-up call for me in terms of getting my fitness levels back to where they should be at for this level.
— LTA (@the_LTA) June 14, 2021
“So I worked really hard. I did a training block for four weeks before heading out and playing some events where I got quite a few good matches.
“But in the second week I strained my ab. My preparation for this tournament actually hasn’t been excellent – I only started serving about three days ago.
“That’s my problem at the moment, just staying on court, getting my body right, which is really important. Since Miami started, I’ve been looking more and more at my diet and what I’m eating more professionally.
“So, yeah, hopefully I’ll be able to stay on court and compete hard in matches.
“I knew it was going to be really tough, because Jannik is one of the best. He’s the best player in our age group.
“I was quite nervous going onto the court, but after I settled in and after I played quite a few points I felt like the crowd really helped me to feel comfortable.”
Sinner added: “I think today he deserved to win, so obviously I wish him good luck with hopefully no more injuries from his side.”
Draper will face either Alexander Bublik or Jeremy Chardy in round two on Wednesday.
The Novak Djokovic steamroller reaches third round at Olympics as Serbian finds ‘a higher level of tennis’
Novak Djokovic four wins away from Olympic gold.
‘It was a tough match for us,’ says Jamie Murray after losing doubles at Olympics alongside Neal Skupski
No medal for Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski at Tokyo Games.
Tennis Top 10
Top 10 youngest ATP Tour title winners: Andy Murray celebrating with a kiss and Lleyton Hewitt quitting school
Your top 10 youngest ATP Tour title winners.
‘It’s amazing,’ says Carlos Alcaraz as he follows in Rafael Nadal’s footsteps by capturing an ATP title at 18
An ATP Tour title for Carlos Alcaraz at just 18.
‘I’m here for a good time,’ says Naomi Osaka after easing into third round at Tokyo Olympics
Naomi Osaka defeated Viktorija Golubic to reach the last 16.
Kei Nishikori identifies key features behind brilliant win over Andrey Rublev at Olympics
Kei Nishikori off the mark at his home Olympics.
‘I feel definitely a little bit refreshed and happy again,’ says Naomi Osaka after opening win at Olympics
Smooth start for four-time major winner Naomi Osaka.
‘A disappointing day’ for ‘erratic’ Ashleigh Barty as she crashes out of singles at Tokyo Olympics
Ashleigh Barty makes an early exit from Tokyo Olympics.
He’s done it! ‘I couldn’t be more proud of myself,’ says Cameron Norrie after winning maiden ATP Tour title
It’s a maiden ATP Tour singles title for Cameron Norrie.
‘I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the singles,’ says Andy Murray after Olympics blow
Andy Murray will concentrate on doubles with Joe Salisbury.