Express & Star

Jack Draper battles past Marcos Giron to reach Stuttgart Open quarter-finals

Draper is chasing the British number one ranking ahead of his home grand slam.


Jack Draper continued his Wimbledon preparations with a battling victory over American Marcos Giron to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart Open.

Draper – who has now edged ahead of Cameron Norrie for the British number one ranking in the live standings – missed the entire grass court swing last year because of injury.

After a straight-sets win over Sebastian Ofner on Monday, Draper found things tougher against Giron, who had comfortably seen off two-time former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in his first-round match.

The opening set went on serve until Draper forced a break point chance in the fifth game, with Giron sending a backcourt return just wide, and the 22-year-old then held to love to move 4-2 ahead.

Another impressive love service game then saw Draper go on to take the first set 6-4 after just 31 minutes.

Giron, though, regrouped for the second set, which proved much closer.

After a key hold in the fifth game, saving five break points, the American kept the pressure on Draper’s serve to break at 5-3 before levelling the match.

However, Draper soon raced into a 3-0 lead in the deciding set, making full use of coming to the net.

Although Giron, the world number 54, continued to battle on, Draper soon clinched victory with another superb backhand to complete his 6-4 3-6 6-3 win.

“I thought I played a really good first set and then he came back really strong,” Draper said in his courtside interview.

“I had a little blip in concentration, but then came out in the third set really strong and was really happy with the way I was able to come through the match.

“He beat Andy Murray yesterday, who is obviously and incredible player and I knew he had such a high level.

“I had to come out and know he was going to bring that, but I was able to stay with him and come through. I am really happy with the way I mentally performed today.”

Draper goes on to play Frances Tiafoe after the defending champion beat German Yannick Hanfmann 7-5 7-6 (5).

Italian fifth seed Lorenzo Musetti recovered to beat Dominik Koepfer 6-7 (9) 7-6b(5) 6-3 and also reach the quarter-finals, where he will face Alexander Bublik after the world number 17 came through 6-1 7-6 (4) against Hamad Medjedovic.

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