Jack Draper in the quarter-final of the 2022 Rothesay International, Eastbourne, UK
Jack Draper in the quarter-final of the 2022 Rothesay International, Eastbourne, UK | (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Tennis | ATP Sofia 2023 | Draper reaches maiden ATP final after Struff victory, faces Mannarino next

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Jack Draper def Jan-Lennard Struff [3] 6-3 6-4
  • Draper v Adrian Mannarino [2] | H2H: First Meeting
SOFIA, BULGARIA – Jack Draper reached his first career ATP final after defeating Jan-Lennard Struff in Sofia and will now face Adrian Mannarino for the title.


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Jack Draper def Jan-Lennard Struff [3] 6-3 6-4

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Jack Draper became the youngest Brit since Andy Murray in 2009 to reach an ATP final after he defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets. It was Draper who started the more confidently as he found his range on serve, firing a few aces to start the match. However it was the powerful German who broke first as he used his forehand to dictate the majority of the rallies, taking a 2-1 lead.

That didn’t seem to halt Draper’s momentum, if anything it gave him more motivation as he was patient and waited for the perfect opportunity to strike. The world number 82 secured four games in a row with some confident baseline tennis as he sealed a second break of serve in a row by forcing a forehand error from Struff.

There was a big response from the German in the next game but Draper was able to force errors from the German as he saved two break points to take a 5-2 lead. Despite late dominance on serve from Struff, Draper continued to fire down big serves of his own as he sealed the opening set in 37 minutes.

In the second set, there was a much more aggressive approach from Struff as he started to take the ball earlier on the forehand side. The third seed dictated play and earned himself four break points in the opening two return games but Draper resisted as he held on both occasions.

That resistance and patience from Draper paid off as later in the set the Brit increased the intensity of his play as he stepped into the court, producing forehand winners. Struff was made to pay for his wasted chances on return as the Brit converted his second break point of the set to take a 4-3 lead.

After a couple of love service holds from both players, Draper was forced to hold off a flurry of aggressive points from the German. After failing to convert a couple of match points due to Struff’s attacking approach, the Brit converted his third match point with an ace down the T as he secured a place in his first ever ATP tour final.


Jack Draper v Adrian Mannarino [2] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Jack Draper v Adrian Mannarino [2] H2H: First Meeting
ATP Sofia 2023 Sofia, Bulgaria
Indoor Hard Prize Money: €49,940/€85,605
Second on Center Court (Not before 13:00 GMT) TennisTV <- Subscription Required

Draper will now face French veteran Adrian Mannarino for the title as the Frenchman searches for his third title of the season.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

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H2H: Jack Draper (WR 82) Adrian Mannarino (WR 25)
Tournament Previous Best N/A Semi-Final (2020)
1st Serve % 59.7 60
Service Games Won % 85.1 78.9
Break Points Saved % 69.9 60.4
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 53.1 51.1
Break Points Converted % 44.9 47.4

Draper will have to produce his best performance on serve as Mannarino has been lethal and effective on return this season.



Playing Styles and Prediction

At 35 years old, Mannarino is still producing vintage tennis and finding ways to trouble players on the tour with his unique skillset. The Frenchman has had another successful season having won two titles in Newport and Astana as he looks to continue to solidify his place inside the world’s top 25 heading into next season.

Draper will need to remain patient as he will look to be consistent on the forehand as he looks for the perfect opportunity to be aggressive. Meanwhile Mannarino will look to use variety and depth to cause problems for Draper as he looks to continue his efficiency on break points. This will be a good match between two in-form players that could go either way but it’s hard to bet against Draper’s confidence at the moment.

Prediction: Draper in three sets.



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