Melbourne | Draper falls in four

It was always going to be a tight affair with Tommy Paul, the 14th seed from the US against Britain’s biggest tennis prospect in recent years, and a third-round spot at the Australian Open at stake.

Following his quarter final win over Paul at the Adelaide International last week, Draper knew it was going to be a tougher affair over five sets. And the fact that he played a very physical opening round five-setter which ended with him being sick in courtside bin, could be said to have put the 22-year-old Brit a at a bit of a disadvantage.

However, he looked to have recovered reasonably well going into the clash but eventually, afyter two-hours and 58-minutes, fell to a 6-2 3-6 6-3 7-5 defeat.

The match was delayed by blustery showers and, when it did get under way, Draper came out of the blocks slowly, dropping serve three times in the opener.

He hit back well in the second, beginning to trouble Paul, a semi-finalist at the AO last year, with his power game, but it was the American on top again in the third set.

The conditions certainly did not make things easy and Draper looked hugely frustrated by his inability to time the ball as consistently as he would have liked.

Paul looked on his way to victory when he broke serve again to start the fourth set, but Draper fought back well to force two set points with a nervous Paul serving at 4-5.

He could not take either, though, and a missed forehand in the next game gave Paul the chance to serve for the match, which he took.



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