Stuttgart | Draper wins his first title.

Having failed on two previous occasions to win his first ATP Tour title, Jack Draper finally broke his duck in Stuttgart where he became the Boss Open champion by defeating the former two-time title holder Matteo Berrettini. In the process he picked up a handsome winner’s cheque and a motorcycle!

It was a really tough match, but really happy to win my first title. It means so much to me Jack Draper

The Brit, seeded six for the tournament, was made to work hard by the former Wimbledon finalist but once he had worked out his opponent’s game, he turned the match around to inflict a 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4 on the powerful Italian.

Draper who will be confirmed as the new British No.1 when the latest rankings are published Monday as he replaces Cameron Norrie who suffered a defeat in a Challenger event in Nottingham, during the week. He also becomes, at 22, the youngest player to top the national rankings since Andy Murray in 2009.

For Draper the win is a major milestone in his career and should lift him to 32 in the new world rankings which could well secure him a seeded position at Wimbledon which starts on July 1.

Daniel Grieder (L) CEO of Hugo Boss, presents Jack Draper with his new bike.

(Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images)

“It was a really tough match, but really happy to win my first title. It means so much to me,” Draper, who also defeated the defending champion Frances Tiafoe in the quarter finals, said after the match.

“There were a lot of tough moments the last year or so, and it’s been up and down, but I’m really, really glad, with the way I played. I think it’s a testament to the work I’ve been doing.”

At the start it was the more experienced Berrettini who took charge breaking his young opponent in the fourth game to 15 with some commanding play from the baseline.

The Brit was struggling to gain much momentum against the Italian, who sealed the opening set with an ace after a mere 31 minutes of play.

However, Draper responded well and as he had shown during the week, knuckled down and defended stoutly as he held all of his early service games in the second set, but the former Italian No.1, who he only recently regained his form following injury, was equally determined to win Stuttgart for the third time.

But the pendulum was certainly swinging Draper’s way despite his failure to convert two set points in the tenth game. He also saved two break points in the next before the set went into a tiebreak.

Draper had played three tiebreaks during the week, winning all three so the odds were certainly in his favour and so it proved as his own powerful serving came to the fore though it was a brave forehand-backhand combination which clinched the breaker 7-5 to keep him in the final.

He secured a crucial break of serve in the decider to move 4-3 ahead and go on to serve for the match.

The young Brit would do so with aplomb, sealing the deal thanks to an emphatic hold to love with an ace, his 13th of the match to bring a memorable week to a very satisfying end.

Draper will now be joining the field at Queen’s which starts on Monday and has promised the crowd that he will be back to defend the title next year.

Disappointment for Berrettini who congratulated Draper during the trophy presentations.

“Congratulations to Jack – an unbelievable week, an unbelievable match. I am sure this guy is going to lift more trophies,” the Italian said.

“I got close, and this will hurt for a bit, but that is tennis. Hopefully this is the first step on the grass-court season.”

Matteo Berrettini in action during the final

(Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images)



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