Monte Carlo | Draper eventually outhit by Hurkacz

Hubert Hurkacz, fresh from winning the Estoril title last week, continued his successful run with a dramatic win over Jack Draper in their opening round encounter at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters.

With just one day of practice at the prestigious Monte Carlo Country Club, the Pole, seeded 10, was pushed the whole way before he could claim a place in the second round.

However, with a week’s play behind him in Portugal, the world No.8 proved too strong for the British No.2 who was playing his first clay court match of the season to go through 6-4 3-6 7-6(2).

But as the score implies, the 22-year-old Brit didn’t let him have it all his own way although he dropped his serve early when Hurkacz established a 3-0 lead after some extensive opening rallies.

Those early stages were brutal but the more experienced Pole proved to be the more comfortable on heavy clay as Draper’s first serve went awol and he found himself pushed around the court, chasing down dropshots or retrieving wide angles.

Some confidence returned when Draper held serve in the fourth game having staved off more breakpoints and then produced some excellent and powerful returns in the next game which he followed up by breaking back two games later for 3-4.

The match now became a true duel and the outcome was never certain despite Hurkacz going on to claim the first set when Draper faltered badly with a double fault, to hand it to him after a battling 52-minutes.

The pair had met 12-months earlier at the event with the Pole emerging the winner after three sets, and the likelihood of a similar scenario rolling out became possible when Draper took control of the second set following a couple of errors from Hurkacz in the fifth game to go 0-40 down.

He then struck another error when he hit a forehand wide to concede the break and threw his racket in frustration at letting hi young opponent get the upper hand.

But, having gone on to level at a set-all, Draper then fell a break down early in the decider. He held his nerve and retained his focus to break back crucially as Hurkacz attempted to serve out and then held for the tie break which could have gone either way.

Unfortunately for Draper, Hurcacz took immediate control of it and didn’t flinch as he secured – after two-hours, 24-minutes – another three set win over his younger rival.

Draper’s loss means no Brits left in the singles draw with Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans falling in their opening rounds on Monday.

Jack Draper came close but just lost out

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)



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