By Tony Fairbairn
- Jack Draper def Andy Murray 7-6(6) 6-2
- Draper v Carlos Alcaraz  | H2H: Alcaraz leads 1-0
INDIAN WELLS, USA – Jack Draper defeated his idol Andy Murray in straight sets to reach the last 16 at Indian Wells where top seed Carlos Alcaraz awaits.
Jack Draper lived out his ultimate dream in California as he defeated his childhood idol Andy Murray to reach the last 16 at Indian Wells. Draper made the perfect start to the match as he was the early aggressor, dictating play from the baseline with Murray unable to neutralise Draper’s power early on. A proactive start from the 21 year-old saw him break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead.
Not only on return but also on serve Draper dominated the rallies and the Brit’s serving also saw Murray unable to do anything significant on serve. However Murray provided a brilliant response throughout the rest of the set as he used variety and different depths of shot to force errors from Draper. Despite Draper securing a couple of love service holds, Murray continued to plug away on return as he tested Draper’s ability to perform under pressure.
Eventually it was Murray who produced the more consistent tennis on return as he secured the break to love in the tenth game to level the opening set at 5-5. There were nerves from Draper as the former world number one seized the opportunity to try and take advantage of the situation. After saving three break points of his own, Murray had set point to steal the set from Draper as he constructed some intelligent points.
However Draper saved the set points with some lightening quick footwork as the opening set would be decided on a tiebreak. Draper had the mini-break on two separate occasions but a resilient Murray would save them as he took advantage of Draper feeling uncomfortable at the net. In the end though Draper converted his second set point with an ace as he secured the set in 84 minutes.
Murray made a much more positive start to the second set as he was more aggressive, taking a few more risks to test Draper’s defensive play. Both players looked more comfortable on serve as only two points were conceded on serve in the opening five games as Draper remained unfazed by Murray’s approach to the second set.
In the end Draper’s consistent power was too much for Murray as the world number 56 broke in the last two return games of the set with the match ending on a Murray double fault as Draper now moves into the last 16.
After the match Draper explained the feeling of playing one of his childhood idols and spoke about night time conditions at Indian Wells.
“I’ve looked up to Andy since I was so young. I watched him win Wimbledon for the first time in 2013 and then I’ve had the opportunity to get to know him and practise with him often since 2019,” Draper told the ATP website.
“He’s a really special person, a great champion, great human being and I’m privileged to play against him on this court. I want to keep on trying to impose my game and use my weapons. It’s not easy in these conditions. It’s quite slow tonight, the wind was a bit swirly and obviously playing against Andy, he makes it incredibly awkward for you. It’s something I’m looking to improve with my coach and it’s definitely starting to pay off a little bit more.”
Jack Draper v Carlos Alcaraz  | H2H & Match Fundamentals
|Jack Draper v Carlos Alcaraz ||H2H: Alcaraz leads 1-0|
|Indian Wells 2023||Indian Wells, USA|
|Hard (O)||Prize Money: $96,955|
|Fourth on Stadium One (Not before 01:00 GMT)||Amazon Prime Video <– Sign up for trial|
Draper will now face top seed Carlos Alcaraz for a spot in the Indian Wells quarter-finals with Alcaraz yet to drop a set so far in his two matches.
Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2022)
|H2H:||Jack Draper (WR 56)||Carlos Alcaraz (WR 2)|
|Tournament Previous Best||N/A||Semi-Final (2022)|
|1st Serve %||58.2||66.5|
|Service Games Won %||82.5||81.2|
|Break Points Saved %||67.3||59.3|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won %||52.7||54.5|
|Break Points Converted %||41.4||51.6|
Draper’s bold play under pressure will be put to the test against the returning efficiency of Alcaraz.
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Playing Styles and Prediction
Alcaraz has earned two good wins over Thanasi Kokkinakis and Tallon Griekspoor as he continues his impressive start to the season. The Spaniard knows that he can’t get complacent but on current form the former US Open champion looks like the main consistent challenger to Novak Djokovic over the course of this season.
Draper will look to continue his big hitting from the baseline and will need to continue to serve well under pressure given the fact that Alcaraz will create a handful of break point opportunities. The Spaniard will look to use variety as well as power to move Draper behind the baseline and make him uncomfortable at the net. This has the potential to be the best match of the week with both players in good form but Alcaraz’s all-court game may just prove too much for Draper in this match.
Prediction: Alcaraz in three sets.
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