Acapulco | Draper takes another step forward

a third successive match, Jack Draper has posted another strong result with a straight sets win over Miomir Kecmanovic to reach the semi-finals of the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

Stefanos has had my number for a very long time, so I'm glad I was able to get one back Alex de Minaur

The British No.3 took out the Serbian 6-2 6-2 completing a comfortable victory in just 81-minutes in what is proving an excellent run for the 22-year-old who has dropped just 11 games in three matches.

Ranked at 50, the Brit was placed three places higher than his opponent but, on this occasion, the gap between them in performance terms, was very much in the youngster’s favour as he broke Kecmanovic in the third game and quickly repeated that to go 4-1 up and serving out after 31-minutes.

The second set proved a bit closer with Draper surviving a break point to level at 2-2 at which point he took control again breaking his opponent twice to reach 5-2 when he served out to love.

Draper, who made the final of Adelaide where he lost out to Jiri Lehecka, now has to get past the in-form Australian Alex de Minaur, the defending champion and third seed, who battled his way past the fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 1-6 6-3 6-3.

It was the first time in 11 meetings that the Australian had got the better of the Greek and it led him to repeat the late Vitas Gerulaitis’s famous phrase of “…no one beats me .. times in a row…”

After his two-hour 6-minute victory, De Minaur said: “Every time I’ve got to play him I get reminded about my [record in the] matchup. I’m glad I got one on the board (and) I would like to say that no one beats me 11 times in a row, but hey… Stefanos has had my number for a very long time, so I’m glad I was able to get one back.”

Alex De Minaur finally breaks his duck with Stefanos Tsitsipas

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Should De Minaur retain his title, he should return into the top ten in ranking terms having recently slipped down to 13. Draper will also climb and rise from his current slot of 50 to at least 37, a career best for him.

“I know that, especially in the position I’m in, there’s going to be a lot of movement every week,” De Minaur commented. “The way I look at it, I’ve got a couple of months where I’m not defending many points, so if this week I don’t manage to defend my title here, I’ve got Indian Wells and Miami and the whole clay swing to hopefully rack up some points and move up the rankings.”

In the bottom half Norway’s Casper Ruud battled over two-hours and 34-minutes to get past American Ben Shelton 6-7(7) 6-4 6-4 while Denmark’s Holger Rune – last year’s finalist – required nearly two hours to secure, as second seed, his allotted semi-place 7-6(2) 7-6(0) against Germany’s Dominic Koepfer.



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