Jack Draper defeats Gilles Simon for the Dream Miami Open presented by Itau Win | ATP tour
Jack Draper brought his scintillating form to the big stage at the Miami Open presented by Itau on Wednesday, passing Gilles Simon to claim a maiden victory at the ATP Masters 1000 at Hard Rock Stadium.
The 20-year-old Briton, who has already won three ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2022, used his solid serve and powerful groundstrokes to wear down his resilient opponent and secure a 7-5, 6-1 victory .
The hot and humid conditions in Miami will make victory all the more enjoyable for Draper, who was forced into retirement against Mikhail Kukushkin in his tournament debut a year ago.
“[It feels] really good,” Draper said after the game. “I played a good game today. It was tough conditions. It was not the easiest, especially after what happened last year. It was kinda in the back of my head.
“I’m happy to have finished the game. I think it shows the work I’ve done over the last six months, so I’m happy with the performance today.”
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After an early exchange of breaks, a poor service game from Simon at 5-5 gave Draper the opportunity to clinch the first set, with the 20-year-old showing no signs of nervousness as he served him at the end. ‘love.
The second set was a more one-sided affair. Draper broke three times to complete the victory in one hour and 48 minutes. Every time he was under pressure in the match, the Briton’s big serve guided him away from trouble. He saved six of the seven break points he faced and won 70% (28/40) of the points behind his first serve, according to Infosys ATP Stats.
The loss leaves Simon two more wins out of 500 career wins, while Draper’s bid to reach November’s Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals continues to gain momentum.
A first victory at the Masters 1000 level for @jackdraper0!
– Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 23, 2022
Next up for Draper is a familiar face, fellow Brit Cameron Norrie. This will be the pair’s second meeting at tour level, after Norrie ended Draper’s promising run at the 2021 Cinch Championships in London in the quarter-finals.
“I played a lot with Cam in the UK,” Draper said. “He’s one of the guys who was great with me as a young Brit. I think he always supports me, always sends me messages.
“[It’s] it’s good that I can share the pitch with him on Friday. When I played him at Queen’s last year, I’m a much better player than that, I think. Hopefully I can give him a hard time on Friday.”
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Brandon Nakashima also picked up a first main draw victory in Miami on Wednesday, beating world No. 63 Soonwoo Kwon, 6-1, 7-5, to set up an all-American second-round clash with 28th seed Frances Tiafoe.
#NextGenATP star Nakashima capitalized on an error-strewn start from Kwon to get ahead, then broke at the end of the second set to take the win in the first ATP Head2Head meeting of the pair.
Francisco Cerundolo was making his main draw debut at the Masters 1000 and facing Tallon Griekspoor for the first time, but the Argentinian handled the conditions and his opponent well to claim a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win. The loss leaves world number 57 Griekspoor, also playing for the first time at Hard Rock Stadium, still looking for a first win at Masters 1000 level. Cerundolo’s next mission is a second-round encounter with the 16th seed. Reilly Opelka series.
Earlier today, world number 68 Hugo Gaston picked up his second tour-level win of the season in record time, beating 20-year-old American wild card Emilio Nava 6-2, 6-1 in just over an hour to get around. to a second-round clash with 2018 champion John Isner.