British wild-card Jack Draper wins again at Queen's Club

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Jack Draper of Britain returns to Alexander Bublik of Kazakistan during their singles tennis match at the Queen's Club tournament in London, Wednesday, June 16, 2021.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

LONDON – Wild-card entry Jack Draper pulled off another surprising win on Wednesday at The Queen’s Club grass-court tournament, topping Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 7-6 (5), 7-6 (0) in a second-round matchup.

It was just the second ATP Tour match win for Draper, who lost to Bublik here two years ago in qualifying. He earned his first on Monday by eliminating third-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner, also in two tiebreakers, in a matchup between 19-year-olds. Sinner is ranked 23rd and Draper 309th.

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It was another good day for the homeland as Cameron Norrie defeated fifth-seeded Russian Aslan Karatsev 7-5, 6-2 to set up an all-British matchup against Draper in the quarterfinals.

Also on Thursday, former world No. 1 Andy Murray, who dispatched France’s Benoit Paire in straight sets on Tuesday for his first match victory since last August, will face top-seeded Matteo Berrettini of Italy. British No. 1 Daniel Evans meets Frenchman Adrian Mannarino for spots in the quarterfinals.

Trailing in the second set, Bublik rallied to force a second tiebreaker, but Draper regained his composure and didn't allow an other point.

“I thought I blew it towards the end a little bit," Draper told the crowd afterward. "I’m glad I stuck with it and thank you for your support as it helped me get over the line today. It’s amazing to play in front of all you guys.”

In other matches Wednesday, fourth-seeded Alex de Minaur beat John Millman 6-1, 6-3 in an all-Australian matchup, and Marin Cilic of Croatia, a two-time winner here, defeated eighth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Draper is a left-hander from England who was the 2018 boys’ runner-up at Wimbledon. He was given a wild-card entry for Queen’s Club. His only previous tour-level match came at Miami in March. He retired from that one because of a heat-related illness after dropping the opening set.

Murray received another bit of good news on Wednesday — he'll receive a wild card to compete at Wimbledon when it starts in less than two weeks.


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