Britain’s Jack Draper won the first ATP Tour match of his career on Monday at the cinch Championships after coming from behind to defeat fellow 19-year-old and No.3 seed Jannik Sinner 7-6(6) 7-6(2) at The Queen’s Club.
I thought I had no chance of beating Jannik today to be honest with you, so I didn’t even bother (to look at the draw) Jack Draper
Draper, who reached the final of the Wimbledon boy’s tournament in 2018, went 0-4 down against Sinner, a player ranked 286 places above him, before producing a stunning comeback.
“I’m just glad I was able to play well against such a great player like Jannik,” said Draper afterwards. “He’s way ahead of where I am and I’ve got a long way to go to catch up with him, but it’s nice to beat him on this court. I thought I had no chance of beating Jannik today to be honest with you, so I didn’t even bother (to look at the draw).”
He in fact faces either Jeremy Chardy or Alexander Bublik in Round 2.
Draper is part of the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme, the highest level of support given to British players aged 16-24 who have the highest potential to reach the world’s Top 100.
On a good day for Britain on Centre Court, Cameron Norrie won his first match at Queen’s at the fourth attempt, overcoming Albert Ramos-Vinolas 4-6 6-3 6-4 to reach the second round. It was Norrie’s first win in four matches against the Spaniard and avenges his defeat by the Spaniard in the Estoril final. The British No.2 now meets fifth seed Aslan Karatsev of Russia, a 3-6 6-4 6-2 winner over the Lucky Loser from Chile, Alejandro Tabilo.
On Tuesday, the British No.1 Dan Evans is in action against Australia’s Alexei Popyrin, and then record five-time champion Andy Murray will play his first singles match at the tournament since 2018 when he faces Benoit Paire of France. Murray has won all three of their previous meetings. Top seed from Italy Matteo Berrettini starts the Centre Court programme in his first appearance at Queen’s. He takes on compatriot Stefano Travalglia.
The cinch Championships, one of the LTA’s major summer events, will be able to accommodate approximately 25% of its normal full capacity, and the event will be socially distanced, in line with the current safety protocols required by the UK Government and the ATP Tour.