Match Chronicle

Paul ends Draper’s dream on grass

His next opponent at Queen’s Club will be Korda for a place in the final

June 21, 2024

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Tommy Paul is No. 13 in the PIF ATP Rankings.
By Staff

There was only one local tennis player left in the Cinch Championships, the left-handed Jack Draper, as well as great hope from the public that the Briton would keep the title, especially after defeating Carlos Alcaraz. However, Tommy Paul has ended the illusion.

Although Draper had won his last seven matches on grass (he had just won his first ATP Tour title in Stuttgart), the American made his superiority in experience and positions in the PIF ATP Rankings respected by winning with sets of 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the last quarterfinal match at the ATP 500 in London.

“I played very good tennis on a surface that I like. I knew today was going to be a battle,” Paul said after securing his second qualification to a grass-court semi-final on the ATP Tour. “It’s never easy against Jack, who has been playing very good tennis, so I’m very happy to have come through this match.”

The world No. 13 was the most aggressive during the two-hour encounter in west London. He took advantage of three of four break points from the rest, connected 30 winners and won 51 percent (18/35) of the points on the second serve of Draper, No. 30 in the world, to leave his record at 2-3 in the Lexus ATP Head2Head series between the two.

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The fifth seed now has a record of 25-10 on the season and will face his compatriot Sebastian Korda, who stopped the advance of the Australian Rinky Hijikata, from the qualifier, by winning with sets of 6-7 (4) , 6-3, 6-4.

Paul’s previous best result on grass was at Eastbourne last year, when he lost to Francisco Cerúndolo in the final. Korda, a semi-finalist at Queen’s in 2023 (l. with Alcaraz), also registers a final on the surface: the one he lost days ago to Álex de Miñaur at the Libema Open.

What the latter will have in his favor is that he leads his Lexus ATP HeadToHead 4-1 with Paul, and that he is going through his best moment on the ATP Tour. Since Monday he has been making his debut ranking (No. 23), and his victory this Friday has guaranteed his first appearance in the Top 20 of the PIF ATP Rankings since next Monday.

Did you know…?
With the semifinal between Paul and Korda, the first time in 14 years with a final of this event with the presence of at least one American was guaranteed. The last time this happened was in 2010, when Sam Querrey beat compatriot Mardy Fish for the title.


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