Jack Draper and Andy Murray set up an intriguing third round encounter at Indian Wells after defeating Dan Evans and Radu Albot in straight sets respectively. Starting with Draper, the world number 56 dominated on return with his power as he didn’t allow Evans to neutralise the points with his slice. Draper’s aggressive and proactive hitting from the baseline earned him the break in the opening game with Evans frustrated.
However Evans responded in the best possible fashion as he produced some high-quality returning of his own as he broke straight back to level the set at 1-1. That resilience from Evans didn’t last long as the 24th seed’s lack of confidence was there to see with Draper committing more errors from the world number 29. After breaking for a second time, Draper survived a stern service game as he showed his defensive stubbornness to hold for a 3-1 lead.
Evans continued to test Draper on the pressure points as he continued to apply the pressure on return which included coming to the net to shorten the points. However Draper had an answer to every problem posed by Evans as he saved five break points in the sixth and eighth games. The 24th seed was visibly annoyed as he voiced his frustrations out loud but that didn’t help his cause as Draper continued to plug away on serve as he closed out the opening set in 69 minutes.
The start of the second set saw both players bring a high level on serve but also an inconsistent level on serve. Evans was forced to save three break points in the opening game as he denied Draper from continuing the momentum into the second set. That seemed to give Evans confidence as he created two break points in the fourth game as he aimed to put Draper under pressure.
However Evans continued to be wasteful in his attempts to break on return and after holding for 2-2, Draper stormed to victory. The world number 56 broke comfortably on two separate occasions and sealed a run of four games in a row to seal victory and a place in the third round in California.
Draper will now play Murray after the Brit sealed his first straight sets win on the ATP tour for five months. As expected Murray’s clash with Albot saw a lot of comfortable hold of serves with the Moldovan having a big serve as his disposal. The Brit was frustrated after the first eight games as despite some accurate returning, failed to convert any of his four break point opportunities. Eventually after holding serve to love, the pressure got to Albot as a misfired backhand sealed the opening set for Murray as the Brit roared in delight.
In the second set, more break points came and went for Murray as he was too passive in the big points. The Brit wasted three break points in the fourth game but eventually the Brit broke in the sixth game as Albot lacked power and consistency in the crucial games. Murray’s consistency and physicality proved too much as he sealed victory after forcing another Albot error as he fist-bumped his team and earned an eighth victory of the season.
Jack Draper v Andy Murray | H2H & Match Fundamentals
Jack Draper v Andy Murray
H2H: First Meeting
Indian Wells 2023
Indian Wells, USA
Prize Money: $55,770
First night match on Stadium 2, not before 6pm (1am GMT, Tuesday)
Draper will look to continue his efficiency on return while Murray will hope to maintain a high level on serve.
Playing Styles and Prediction
This match sees the attack of Draper go against the consistent defence of Murray as both players look to test each other on serve. The serve is going to be key for Murray as he will know that Draper will create opportunities on return at some point during the match. That means it’s up to Murray to be proactive and aggressive in the big points as well as taking consistent risks.
Meanwhile Draper will look to be aggressive on return and set up most of the attacking play onto his forehand in order to force Murray out of position, setting up easy winners. This should be an entertaining match with not much separating them in terms of confidence and ranking. In the end Draper’s power and consistency should see him earn victory in what will be a great learning experience for Draper against one of his idols.
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