London | Draper shines at Queen’s as Murray withdraws

Jack Drapers performance on the first day of the ‘cinch Championships’ at Queens, proved to be the big highlight as far as home fans were concerned, as he overcame the fourth seeded Taylor Fritz in straight sets.

It is an amazing result.. The support really helped out there today and I enjoyed my time on court Jack Draper

The 20-year-old British No.4 who has just broken into the top 100 (at 99) for the first time, secured the best win of his career with a dominant 6-3 6-2 victory over the American No.1 and world No.14.

It was a convincing victory as he highlighted his powerful game and growing maturity much to the delight of capacity Queen’s Club crowd packed into the centre court for the first time since 2019 following the Covid crisis.

“It is an amazing result.,” Draper, who reached the quarter finals last year, said later. “The support really helped out there today and I enjoyed my time on court.

“I don’t think there was too many long rallies in the match, most points were won on the first serve.

“The nerves are still there, but I’m just glad to play as well as I did today.”

There was no such joy for Britain’s No.1 and last year’s runner up, Cameron Norrie, who lost 6-7(2) 6-1 6-4 to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, a former Queens champion, in a match that lasted one hour and 57 minutes, who commented: “It just came down to a couple of points.

“He served really well. He played better than me. He likes these conditions.

“I will play doubles here now and then go to Eastbourne next week and try to get some matches under my belt on (their) grass courts.”

Also out is wild card Liam Brady, Britain’s No.5 world ranked 137, who despite a late challenge, crashed out to the two-time former champion Marin Cilic of Croatia, 6-1 4-6 7-5.

Still on the British front, Dan Evans and Andy Murray were scheduled to play Tuesday but late in the afternoon, the news came through that Murray, a former five-time champion at Queen’s had pulled out with the abdominal injury he picked up during his final match at Stuttgart on Sunday.

Andy Murray pulls out of Queen's

Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

“After having a scan this afternoon, an abdominal injury means I won’t be fit to compete at Queen’s this year,” the three-time grand slam champion said in a statement. “The tournament means a lot to me, and it’s disappointing not to compete, especially after playing some good matches on the grass already.”

In other opening day matches Australian’s Alex de Minaur was a 6-4 6-4 winner over America’s Reilly Opelka, and Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik progressed into round two after Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti was forced to withdraw injured after he lost the first set 6-3.



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