ATP Tour: Jack Draper stuns defending champion Alcaraz at Queen's Club to reach quarters

London, Jun 20 (IANS): British player Jack Draper earned the biggest win of his career Thursday in the Queen's Club Championships, stunning top seed and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets and reaching the quarterfinals here. Draper won 7-6(3), 6-3 against Alcaraz, who recently won his third French Open title at Stade Roland Garros in Paris.

Both men entered the match on winning streaks. Alcaraz had won eight consecutive matches thanks to his victory in the French Open in Paris, but Draper snapped that streak by claiming his seventh straight win after earning his first ATP Tour title last week in Stuttgart.

Draper, the big-serving lefty, thrilled his home fans with a dominant serving performance in which he did not lose a service game. The No. 31 player in the ATP Rankings made good use of his wide serve on both courts to win 76 percent of his service points according to Infosys ATP Stats and triumphed in one hour and 39 minutes.

There was not much to differentiate the players in the first set when neither man earned a breakpoint. But Draper made a quick start to the tie-break when Alcaraz missed a forehand long, and the Briton never relinquished his advantage, closing out the set with a curling wide serve in the Ad court.

Alcaraz enjoyed his typical highlight reel moments in the match, including a point during which he guessed right on an attempted Draper putaway and laced a passing shot into the open court. But for the most part, the Spaniard was not able to dominate play as much as he usually does.

Instead, it was Draper who rallied the crowd to his side, crushing a backhand return winner to break for 4-2 in the second set. That proved the lone service break of the match.

Having lost his first two tour-level meetings against reigning Wimbledon champion Alcaraz, Draper let slip his first three match points on return at 5-3. But in the next game, the lefty rallied from 0/30 to close out his third Top 10 win (3-11) and his first victory against the elite group since the 2022 US Open, where he ousted then-World No. 8 Felix Auger-Aliassime.

By ending Alcaraz's grass-court winning streak at 13, Draper climbed to a career-high No. 28 in the ATP Live Rankings.

Draper will next play fifth seed Tommy Paul, who eliminated Alejandro Tabilo 6-3, 6-4. Draper leads Paul 3-1 in their ATP head-to-head series, including a 2-1 record this year. The Briton emerged victorious in Adelaide and Acapulco, while Paul won in four sets at the Australian Open.



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Title: ATP Tour: Jack Draper stuns defending champion Alcaraz at Queen's Club to reach quarters

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