Jack Draper is into the second round of the Australian Open after coming back from two sets to one down to defeat Marcos Giron. The victory was Draper’s first ever five set victory of his career in what is another big milestone in the young Brit’s career. The match was far from easy for Draper though as Giron proved resilient and experienced while the Brit also had to deal with the sizzling hot conditions.
Despite earning the early break, Draper struggled on serve as Giron produced deep returns and forced easy errors from the Brit. The first five games went against the serve as both players struggled with conditions before Draper earned a comfortable hold in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead.
That hold of serve gave Draper confidence on return as he created break point in the seventh game as the Brit looked to seal the double break lead. However Giron saved break points and held in the seventh game with the American following that up with an aggressive return game in the tenth game. It was a complicated game for Draper as he looked to close out the opening set and a big forehand winner saw the world number 55 convert his fifth set point to secure the opening set.
In the second set, it was clear Draper was struggling with conditions as he was unable to maintain focus on serve. A poor service game in the fourth game allowed Giron to break for a 3-1 lead in what was the only break of serve in the set. There was one final push at the break back for Draper as Giron was serving for the second set. However a big forehand cross-court denied Draper the break as the American held serve to level the match at one set all.
After the second set, Draper saw the doctor as he wanted his blood pressure checked as it was clear the Brit was struggling with the 31-degree heat. Despite having to see the trainer, Draper did well at the beginning of the third set as he neutralized Giron’s aggressive play at the net with some powerful and consistent hitting from the baseline.
However in the seventh game, Draper looked fatigued mentally and physically as he made some poor decisions on the court which allowed Giron to hit powerful winners. The American broke to take a 4-3 lead. That would be the only break of the set as Draper was just too passive on return and allowed the American to take control with Giron now leading by two sets to one.
Now Draper would have to do something he’s never done before and that’s win in five sets and the challenge became tougher in the opening game as the Brit faced two break points. In spite of the challenge, Draper came up clutch and produced some big serve and forehand combinations to hold serve as that hold of serve sparked the fire for a big comeback.
The Brit was aggressive and proactive while the unforced errors continued to increase for the American as the frustration increased for Giron. Despite the scoreline in the fourth set, Draper still didn’t look super energetic as he was trying to survive the heat. Unwilling to engage in long rallies, Draper managed to finish off points quickly as he secured the set 6-0 to force a deciding fifth set.
Just like the fourth set, the deciding set started with Draper under pressure as Giron used his backhand to dictate play with the American creating break point. However once again Draper elevated his game in the big moments and an ace secured the hold at the start of the set. That hold of serve proved pivotal as the Brit would break to love in the next game to seal an eighth game in a row.
However the American wasn’t about to give up easily and broke in the third game with some aggressive and proactive approaches to the net. The only way Giron was going to have any success in the fifth set was by rushing Draper’s game and that’s exactly what he did in the third game. That resistance didn’t last long though as it was Draper’s turn to make approaches to the net as Giron continued to display careless unforced errors.
A run of four games in a row secured the match for Draper as he had won his first ever five set match at a Grand Slam. There was not much room for celebration as the Brit shook Giron’s hand before rushing to the courtside bin to vomit. However no matter how sick the match was or Draper was for that matter, the Brit can comfort himself knowing that he is into the second round at Melbourne for the first time in his career.
Jack Draper v Tommy Paul  H2H & Match Fundamentals
Both players have been extremely efficient to start the season on return as Draper will look to improve his first serve percentage in this match.
Playing Styles and Prediction
Paul will be desperate for a good tournament in Melbourne after disappointing form at the end of last season. A defeat to Draper would see the American drop down the rankings as he is defending semi-final points from last season. Now Paul will look to elevate his game under pressure and make huge steps towards regaining his confidence.
Draper will look to be as aggressive as he was in Adelaide with the Brit looking to be consistently aggressive on serve and testing Paul’s defensive skills. Meanwhile Paul will look to be solid on return and force the Brit into hitting difficult shots from the baseline. This match will depend how Draper feels after the struggle of the Melbourne heat on Tuesday. The day-time conditions will suit Paul but if Draper can be on the top of his game then he will enter as slight favourite.
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