Madrid | Draper holds his nerve to progress.

Jack Draper scored a very credible win when he defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round of the Madrid Masters on Wednesday when the men’s draw got under way.

I’m really proud of the way I stepped up at the key moments today Jack Draper

The British No.2 won a very tight match but held firm in the final set decider to go through 6-3 3-6 7-5 after just over two hours of hard-hitting exchanges and bullet like serves.

The Australian came through qualifying and was always going to be a threat as he showed by coming back from falling a set behind with Draper very much in control, to halt the Brit’s momentum to take charge in the second.

In the decider both players were evenly matched but it was Kokkinakis who eventually cracked in the 12th game in the Arantxa Sanchez Stadium.

“It was a tough, I’ve been losing a few 7-6 in the third recently, and Kokkinakis is such an amazing player who’s had some great results in his career, beating the likes of (Roger) Federer, so he can really play,” Draper said later during his on-court interview.

“So I’m really proud of the way I stepped up at the key moments today.”

Draper was responsible for a laudable act of sportsmanship in that final game when he asked for a point to be replayed after the Aussie had been disadvantaged by a noise in the crowd and served a fault.

Explaining that he believed Kokkinakis would have offered him the same courtesy if the boot had been on the other foot, Draper explained: “It’s important to show some sportsmanship and it makes you feel better about yourself.”

For Draper the win was the second he has inflicted on Kokkinakis having also beaten him in the Davis Cup last year in Manchester – again in a tight three setter with a deciding tie-break!.






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