Wimbledon Juniors | Draper loses out to Tseng Chun Hsin
The future of British tennis seems to be in good hands with the likes of Jack Draper, a finalist in the Boys Singles Championships at Wimbledon, and Emma Raducanu, who lost to the eventual Girl’s champion Iga Swaitek in Girls quarter-finals.
After his thrilling semi-final in which he won 19-17 in the deciding set win to book his place in the final, Draper is not averse to working the crowd up a little and, like his idol Andy Murray, he had to call on his reserves after the first set tumbled about his ears on Sunday on No 1 Court.
He picked himself up and gave the World No 1 seed Tseng Chun Hsin more of a battle in the second set, grabbing an early break before being pegged back and then winning six points on the bounce to level the match.
It was a really big achievement, I have to thanks so many people that help me to achieve this goal.’ Tseng Chun Hsin
Tseng was the first to break in the decider, with Draper coming right back at him, but the top seed broke once more to regain the advantage.
Draper fought to break back once more but, again, was just nudged out by Tseng, who went on to claim the trophy match, his second Grand Slam title.
On his Facebook page is the treasured photograph of his 12-year-old self with Asian tennis hero Kei Nishikori, Tseng’s idol growing up in Chinese Taipei, and he has now achieved something even the Japanese did not manage – winning the boys’ singles title at Wimbledon at the age of 16, recording a 6-1 6-7(2) 6-4 victory over Draper in 2 hours 6 minutes.
“It was a really big achievement,’’ said Tseng, who plans to bid farewell to the junior ranks later this year. “I have to thanks so many people that help me to achieve this goal.’’
By becoming the first boy to complete the Roland Garros-Wimbledon singles double since France’s Gael Monfils in 2004, Tseng won his second Grand Slam title from three finals this year.
“I think it was really helping me… especially on my confidence,’’ said Tseng of his triumph at Roland Garros on his favourite surface, clay. “To play more match I can feel very good.’’
“I think first as I was playing, I was enjoying the tennis and playing relax,” said the 16-year-old, who was taught to play by his father, Yu Te, and has been mentored recently by Patrick Mouratoglou, who was in Tseng’s player box.
“Second set I have some chance to break his serve, but I didn’t make it. I have to hold my serve, so I think I have more pressure on it, yes.”
The fleet-footed, technically strong and tactically astute Tseng is, at 175cm (5’9”), an inch shorter than Nishikori, but thinks he is still growing.
Draper is taller, and has a bigger serves and weapons, although everything was misfiring in that 25-minute first set, but his resilience was apparent again as he carved his way back into contention.
The Surrey left-hander hung in long enough to play a fine tiebreak to force a decider and then having three break point chances early in the third set.
After failing to capitalise, Draper was given a code violation warning for breaking a racket he had pounded into the dusty turf in frustration.
An excitable character he may be, but he is sportsman, warmly congratulation Tseng after he served out the match with a second serve ace.
“It gives me immense confidence,’’ said Draper, the first British boy to reach the singles final at the All England Club since Liam Broady in 2011.
“It feels surreal, still, I’m still taking it in, but it’s been an unbelievable week and it’s going to give me a lot of inspiration and motivation. I’m very happy.’’
He admitted to some early nerves, which had settled after he saved two break points early in the second set.
“That sort of got me back into the match, I felt, because I felt then I settled down and got used to everything,” said Draper, who admitted his performance in the first set wasn’t just fatigue.
“It was a bit of everything really, and also the sense of occasion: getting used to having that many people watching you,” he said. “There was a tiny bit of pressure on me because I’m a Brit, as well, but I learnt to embrace that and went from there.’’
The third set began with three long games, with Tseng saving two break points at 0-1, then breaking for a 2-1 lead.
Draper got his backhand return going, a door that Tseng left open, with his first serve percentage under 50 throughout the match.
Tseng took a 3-2 lead with a break and then held, while Draper saved a break point in the next game to stay within range at 4-3.
Draper pumped up the crowd in Tseng’s next service game, winning the first three points before getting the break at 30-40, and the left-hander was not shy about asking for their support, but the whistling and clapping did not intimidate Tseng.
“I was just trying to get more focus on myself, just keep doing what I can do my best in the tennis, just focus on the court,” Tseng said. “Actually at one point, I just can only hear myself breathe.”
Draper played a tired-looking game at 4-all and, at 15-40, Tseng won a challenge on a first serve, which was called in but was shown on Hawkeye to be out.
The Brit then missed his second serve, deflating the crowd and Tseng had a changeover to think about serving for the Wimbledon title.
Although he started poorly, going down 0-30, he struck some confident ground strokes in the next three points, getting to match point when Draper netted a make-able backhand.
Tseng missed his first serve, but came up with a second serve ace down the T to become the Wimbledon Junior Boys Champion of 2018.
He has also won two Futures titles in the past three months, and is planning to play the US Open Junior Championships, the ITF Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in October and the ITF Junior Masters in Chengdu, while Draper, who has yet to earn his first ATP point, is looking to make his mark on the next level after his result this week.
“I’m going to go more into the senior game, for sure,” said Draper. “I’m not really sure looking ahead at how many juniors I’m going to play. I’m definitely going to try and transition into the men’s game.”
In the boys’ doubles, Yanki Erel and Otto Virtanen defeated Nicolas Mejia and Ondrej Styler 7-6(5) 6-4, while Chinese top seeds Xinyu Wang and Xiyu Wang of China added to Asia’s success by dominating the girls’ doubles against Americans Caty McNally and Whitney Osuigwe, the No 2 rated pair, 6-2 6-1.
British Junior Wimbledon Results
British Boys’ Singles
Round 1: Ondrej Styler def. Emile Hudd [WC] 6-3 6-7(4) 6-4; Louis Herman [Q] def. jake Hersey 6-3 6-1; Tao Mu def. Connor Thompson [WC] 6-1 6-2; Timofei Skatov  def. Blu Baker 6-3 6-4; Juan Manual Cerundolo  def. Harry Wendelken 4-6 6-4 7-5; Daniel Michalski def. Jacob Fearnley [WC] 7-6(3) 5-7 6-3; Harols Mayot def. Aidan McHugh  3-6 6-2 6-3
Quarter-finals: Tao Mu def. Anton Matusevich 7-5 6-1
Final: Tseng Chun Hsin def. Jack Draper 6-1 6-7(2) 6-4
Round 1: Elisabetta Cocciaretto  def. Francesca Jones [WC] 2-6 7-5 6-4; Lea Ma def. Victoria Allen [WC] 3-6 6-4 6-3
Round 2: Caty McNally  def. Destinee Martins 6-0 6-4
Quarter-finals: Iga Swiatek def. Emma Raducanu 6-0 6-1
Round 1: Ho Ray/Tseng Chun Hsin def. Tad Maclean/Anton Matusevich [WC] 6-1 6-4; Tao Mu/Leopold Zima def. Jacob Fearnly/Connor Thompson 5-7 7-6(4) 6-4; Savriyan Danilov/Henry von der Schulenburg def. Jack Draper/Emile Hudd 6-4 6-4
Quarter-finals: James Story/Harry Wendelken def. Aiden McHugh/Timofei Skatov  4-6 7-6(2) 6-2
Semi-finals: Yanki Erel/Otto Virtanen def. James Story/Harry Wendelken 7-6(0) 7-6(5)
Round 1: Leylah Annie Fernandez/Gabriella Price def. Danielle Daley/Tanysha Dissanayake [WC] 6-2 6-2
Round 2: Joanna Garland/En Sho Liang  def. Sonay Kartal/Erin Richardson [WC] 7-5 7-5; Georgia Drummy/Alexa Noel  def. Amelia Bissett/Morgan Cross [WC] 6-2 6-3
Quarter-finals: Maria Lourdes Carle/Cori Gauff  def. Victoria Allenn & Destinee Martins [WC] 7-5 6-3