Match Report

Draper Wins Antwerp Opener; Gasquet Saves 3 MPs To Edge Wawrinka

#NextGenATP Briton will next face Hurkacz
October 17, 2022
Jack Draper was competing for the first time since he played at the US Open in September.
Jack Draper was competing for the first time since he played at the US Open in September. By ATP Staff

#NextGenATP Briton Jack Draper boosted his Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals chances on Monday in Antwerp, where he cruised past American Jenson Brooksby 6-1, 6-2.

In a dominant performance, the 20-year-old struck 17 winners and committed just three unforced errors to reach the second round at the European Open after 61 minutes. Draper, who now leads Brooksby 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series, will next face top seed Hubert Hurkacz.

“On my service games I was hitting my spots really well,” Draper said in his on-court interview. “I wasn’t missing many returns as well. Jenson is someone who competes really well, so I felt that it was important to get on the front foot and not let him play his game because he is so awkward. I am glad with the way I played.”

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With his victory, Draper has consolidated his fifth-placed position in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Milan. Draper is currently on 945 points, 43 points ahead of sixth-placed American Brandon Nakashima. Draper is aiming to make his debut at the 21-and-under event, to be held at the Allianz Cloud in Milan from 8-12 November. Lorenzo Musetti and Holger Rune have already qualified.

Earlier this season, the Briton captured four ATP Challenger Tour titles, before he reached his first tour-level semi-final in Eastbourne. Draper also upset Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the quarter-finals at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal, while he defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime at the US Open. Monday's meeting against Brooksby was Draper's first match since the seasons final major.

Richard Gasquet saved three match points against Stan Wawrinka to open his Antwerp campaign with a dramatic 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 victory. Wawrinka's three match points came on return in a four-deuce game — the longest of the match — at 5-6 in the second set. 

After battling through to force a tie-break, Gasquet jumped out to a 3/0 lead and levelled the match thanks to a single mini-break.

Gasquet again had his back against the wall in the third set, with Wawrinka leading 3-1 behind an instant break, but the Frenchman won five of the final six games to secure victory. The 36-year-old will face a home favourite in the second round, as he awaits the winner of the all-Belgian matchup between David Goffin and Gilles Arnaud Bailly.

Champion in Antwerp in 2016, Gasquet is the lone former titlist in the draw. He is making his sixth appearance at the ATP 250 event.

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