Jack Draper is into the quarter-finals in Adelaide after a dramatic three hour and 40 minute battle against Miomir Kecmanovic. In the last meeting the two players had, Kecmanovic won in two tiebreaks at the Davis Cup and this match was just as close with the pair sharing breaks to start the match. It was a match of tight margins as both players denied their opponent the opportunity of breaking with Draper saving two break points in the eighth game to hold for 4-4.
The forehand would be the key shot for both players and it was Kecmanovic who used it more efficiently in the opening set with Draper lacking depth on his shots. The Brit’s serve was the one which targeted the most in the opening set and it was his serve that was broken for a second time in the twelfth game as Kecmanovic took the opening set 7-5.
There was more trouble for Draper at the start of the second set as he was broken in the second game with Kecmanovic’s returning continuing to be efficient. However the world number 62 wasn’t about to give up now and an immediate response was produced as he broke the Serb back in the next game to love.
In the second set both players hit 13 unforced errors each as there was little to separate them with both players’ serves being efficient. Just like in Malaga, the duo would play the first of two tiebreaks where Draper was forced to dig deep as he faced two match points. Both match points were saved and on his fourth set point, Draper secured the second set by winning the tiebreak 11-9 and forcing a deciding set.
The deciding set saw both players show their resilience as they played their best tennis under pressure. However throughout the 79 minute set, Draper failed to create a single break point with Kecmanovic continuing to apply the pressure as he created three break point opportunities.
Another set where Draper lived up to the expectation and pressure of the moment as the deciding set went to a tiebreak. The start to the tiebreak saw Kecmanovic dominate as he took a 5-2 lead and was within touching distance of winning the match.
However Draper came back to level the tiebreak at 5-5 before a big controversy happened where Kecmanovic thought that the ball had gone under the net. The umpire thought differently and awarded the point to Draper which then lead to Kecmanovic’s protests being intensified and a five minute delay to proceedings. Eventually when the match restarted, Kecmanovic was able to save two match points from the Brit as the Serb was reluctant to concede defeat.
In the end Draper took his third match point as he sealed a three hour and 40 minute victory to book his place into the quarter-finals in Adelaide.
Jack Draper v Tommy Paul  H2H & Match Fundamentals
Draper will look to improve his efficiency on return against an opponent like Paul, who produces a high level of consistency on serve.
Playing Styles and Prediction
Despite reaching the semi-finals in Toronto and having a good start to last season, Paul had a poor end to the season last year and is looking to rectify that this season. The American will be aiming for a place in the world’s top ten at some point this season as he looks to turn his all-court athleticism into regular positive results at the big tournaments.
Draper will look to be more efficient on return as he will look to create more opportunities than he did against Kecmanovic. While Paul will look to be aggressive on serve and look to use variety to force Draper into hitting shorter balls into the court. This will be a good match for Draper but as long as he can remain fresh and his fitness levels are at a high level then he should win this match. However should the match go to three sets then Paul will be the favourite to go through.
As Draper looks ahead to the quarter-finals, Dan Evans is now looking ahead to the Australian Open after a three set defeat to Alexander Bublik in Adelaide. In the opening set, Evans created eight break point opportunities and broke on two occasions to take the opening set in 54 minutes.
However as the match went on, Evans struggled with fitness issues as he still is working his way back from a hamstring injury he suffered at the end of last season. The eighth seed took full advantage as he stormed to victory in the final two sets with the loss of three games.
Now Evans will look ahead to the Australian Open where he will be unseeded with the tournament starting on Sunday.
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