ack Draper has made no secret of the affect Andy Murray has had on his nascent profession first as an idol then follow companion and confidant.
And the pair’s first ATP Tour encounter at Indian Wells proved one thing of a generational shift as Draper gained their much-anticipated match 7-6, 6-2.
Murray, recognized for his capability to pick tennis expertise, has lengthy talked up Draper as having the potential to be one of many world’s finest gamers along with his huge left-arm serve and forehand.
And it was these weapons that proved Murray’s undoing in a two-hour match that didn’t disappoint after which the pair had a protracted embrace and speak on the web.
“I’ve looked up to Andy since I was so young,” stated Draper within the aftermath of a win, which is able to put him above his countryman on the earth rankings. “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.
“He’s a really special person, a great champion, great human being and I’m privileged to play against him on this court.”
Neither participant may separated in a decent first set which included 10 factors, seven of them in favour of Draper. The 21-year-old broke first for a 3-1 lead however enable the nerves to creep in when serving for the set at 5-4 solely to be damaged to like.
Undeterred by the setback, he held agency to win the tiebreak and take the primary set.
That appeared to merely raise the Draper confidence as he more and more went to the web – from which he gained 18 from a doable 26 factors. He once more acquired the primary break for a 4-2 kead however instantly discovered himself staring down break factors. He staved off that risk and broke Murray once more for a win, which units up a gathering in opposition to world No2 Carlos Alcaraz.
Having defeated Dan Evans within the earlier spherical, Draper stated: “Beating Dan and Andy, that’s about as much confidence as I’d need for that match. Carlos is up another level, he’s been No1 in the world, had an exceptional year last year.
“I want to keep on trying to impose my game and use my weapons. It’s not easy in those conditions. It’s quite slow tonight, the wind was a bit swirly and obviously playing against Andy, he makes it incredibly awkward for you.”
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