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Jack Draper powers to the third tour-level win of his career against Gilles Simon in Miami on Wednesday.

Draper Downs Simon For Dream Miami Win

Nakashima beats Kwon on main-draw debut

Jack Draper brought his scintillating form to the big stage at the Miami Open presented by Itau on Wednesday, surging past Gilles Simon to secure a first ATP Masters 1000 win at Hard Rock Stadium.

The 20-year-old Brit, who has already won three titles on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2022, put his strong serve and powerful groundstrokes to good effect to wear down his resilient opponent and secure a 7-5, 6-1 victory.

The hot and humid conditions in Miami will make the win all the more pleasing for Draper, who was forced to retire against Mikhail Kukushkin on his debut at the tournament a year ago.

"[It feels] really good," said Draper after the match. "I played an okay match today. It was tough conditions. It wasn't the easiest, especially after what happened last year. It was in the back of my mind a little bit.

"I'm glad to come through the match. I think it shows the work I've put in the last six months, so I'm happy with the performance today."

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After an early exchange of breaks, a poor service game from Simon at 5-5 presented Draper with the opportunity to clinch the opening set, the 20-year-old showing no signs of nerves as he served it out to love.

The second set was a more one-sided affair. Draper breaking three times to complete the win in one hour, 48 minutes. Whenever he was under pressure in the match, the Brit’s big serve guided him away from trouble. He saved six out of seven break points he faced and won 70 per cent (28/40) of points behind his first serve, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

The defeat leaves Simon still two victories short of 500 career-wins, while Draper’s bid to reach November’s Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals continues to gather momentum.

Next up for Draper is a familiar face, fellow Brit Cameron Norrie. It will be the pair’s second tour-level meeting, after Norrie ended Draper’s promising run at the 2021 Cinch Championships in London at the quarter-final stage.

"I've played a lot with Cam in the UK," said Draper. "He's one of the guys who has been great with me as a young Brit. I think he's always supporting, always sending me messages.

"[It's] nice I get to share the court with him on Friday. When I played him at Queen's last year, I'm a lot better player than that I think. Hopefully I can give him a run for his money on Friday."

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Brandon Nakashima also enjoyed a first Miami main-draw win on Wednesday, overcoming World No. 63 Soonwoo Kwon, 6-1, 7-5, to set an all-American second-round clash with 28th seed Frances Tiafoe.

#NextGenATP star Nakashima took advantage of an error-strewn start from Kwon to surge ahead and then broke at the tail end of the second set to clinch victory in the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting.

Francisco Cerundolo was making his Masters 1000 main-draw debut and facing Tallon Griekspoor for the first time, but the Argentine handled both the conditions and his opponent well as he claimed a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory. Defeat leaves World No. 57 Griekspoor, also playing for the first time at Hard Rock Stadium, still hunting a first win at Masters 1000 level. Cerundolo’s next assignment is a second-round meeting with 16th seed Reilly Opelka.

Earlier in the day World No. 68 Hugo Gaston notched his second tour-level win of the season in rapid time, beating 20-year-old American wild card Emilio Nava 6-2, 6-1 in just over an hour to move through to a second-round clash with 2018 champion John Isner.

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