Draper Reaches First ATP Semi-Final At Eastbourne

Jack Draper (photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for LTA)


Briton Jack Draper has reached his first-ever ATP Tour semi-final at the Rothesay International Eastbourne at Devonshire Park, defeating his compatriot Ryan Peniston 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday.

While Draper was preparing for his second-ever ATP quarterfinal, Peniston had just beaten Spaniard Pedro Martinez to secure a fourth-consecutive grass-court quarterfinal at all levels. Draper took advantage of that and took care of the World No. 147 inside 75 minutes, avenging his defeat at Surbiton from three weeks ago. Draper is the last Brit standing in the singles draw at the ATP 250 tournament.

“It’s tough [to play a fellow-Brit] as I train with him, so there’s no secrets about each other’s games,” said Draper. “To be a part of the British buzz is amazing. Everyone is trying to push each other to be better. We’ve got to keep on improving and hopefully more of us will go up the rankings. I flipped a switch in my head. I focused on my routines more, as I was getting a bit frustrated. I think it shows that I’m maturing a little bit that I can switch back into focus.”

Maxime Cressy from the United States advanced to his second-career ATP semi-final after knocking out top seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in straight sets 7-5, 7-5. The 25-year-old’s classic serve-and-volley play style continued to cause problems for the top-ranked players, as he defeated his third successive higher-ranked opponent. The World No. 60 has defeated two Brits in a row and will look for the set when he faces Draper in the stage of the final four.

“The court condition was amazing,” said Cressy. “Thanks to the crowd for making that match so special and bringing an incredible environment. It’s a big win for me. It’s been a tough three months, but I stayed resilient and I knew my time would come. My confidence is coming back and I’m so happy.”

Kvitova and Ostapenko prevail

In the women’s event, No. 14 seed Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic ended Harriet Dart’s singles run in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 on Centre Court. Dart, who has played five matches in 24 hours, fought hard but succumbed to the strength of the two-time Wimbledon champion. Kvitova has now reached an eighth grass-court semi-final. Only three active players have played in more. The gulf in experience was evident, as Kvitova has won more grass-court matches (62) than Dart has played on the WTA Tour.

“It’s always tough to close it out, especially yesterday and today,” said Kvitova. “I think she played really good and I tried my best the whole match. I’m really pleased. I think I’m loose; I’m enjoying the grass. My serve is helping as well and that’s the key. It’s very charming here and to play with a full crowd again is beautiful.”

Kvitova will look to reach her first final at Devonshire Park since 2011, where she finished as runner-up, when she faces the in-form Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil, who progressed following Lesia Tsurenko’s withdrawal due to a right elbow injury.

Latvian Jelena Ostapenko’s title defence continued as she reached her fourth semi-final of the season after she defeated Anhelina Kalinina from Ukraine in impressive fashion 6-3, 6-2. Ostapenko, who hadn’t won back-to-back matches since her last semi-final run in February, recovered from an early break to take the first set – despite wasting four set points. The World No. 14 looked as comfortable in the second set and completed the job after 70 minutes. She will face last year’s semi-finalist Camila Giorgi of Italy in the semi-finals.

Eastbourne International Results