British teenagers Jack Draper and Paul Jubb both came from a set down at the Nature Valley Open – an LTA summer grass court event – to earn their first ATP Challenger wins on a rain-hit Tuesday at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
It’s been a rocky road this year — I’ve been on and off court a lot. It’s really nice to have a career-high win as one of my first matches back Jack Draper
With all 16 first-round men’s matches completed indoors, 17-year-old Draper beat Korea’s Yunseong Chung, who is ranked 322 places above him, 5-7 6-0 6-2 after Jubb, 19, got past Estonian Jurgen Zopp 6-7(7) 6-4 6-4.
Both wild cards are scheduled to take on seeded players in the second round as Draper faces top seed and Surbiton Trophy champion Dan Evans in an all-British Centre Court affair, while Jubb will be up against Austrian fifth seed Dennis Novak first on Court 4.
Draper said: “I’m really happy to get that first win under my belt. At the end of the first set I let him off the hook a bit. I was serving really well, but I was just a bit sloppy on a couple of points and, at this level, you get punished. But I stayed strong for the next couple of sets.
“It’s going to be amazing to play Dan [in the second round]. I practise with him quite a bit, so it will be great to be on court with him.”
The left-hander from Sutton added: “It’s been a rocky road this year — I’ve been on and off court a lot. It’s really nice to have a career-high win as one of my first matches back.
“I’m very thankful to the LTA for giving me a wild card to play in this event, and the opportunity to play at this high a level.”
Having also become the first ever Brit to win the NCAA national singles championship in the United States last month, Hull-born Jubb said he is delighted to be playing again on home soil at a higher standard.
On his maiden victory, which he secured after two hours and 12 minutes, Jubb said: “It’s really good to get the first win out of the way, after losing last week [at Surbiton]. It feels really good to have overcome losing the first set today and still fighting really hard to get back into the match, and doing it the hard way. It’s a nice feeling.
“It gave me a big booster coming back home. This is a new level and the guys I’m playing now are a level above that, so I can take some confidence from it. Now it’s all about pushing even harder, but I’m ready for it.”
Matches are due to start at the earlier time of 10.30am on Ladies Day Wednesday with all WTA International first-round matches and ATP Challenger second-round fixtures scheduled across six outdoor courts.