Jack Draper starts Queen's campaign with stunning win over Taylor Fritz

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Jack Draper starts Queen's campaign with stunning win over Taylor Fritz
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Jack Draper believes British tennis is a ‘strong place’ after a landmark win against No.4 seed Taylor Fritz on day one of the LTA's cinch Championships at The Queen’s Club, writes Jack Lacey-Hatton.

Sutton’s Draper - who is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme, the highest level of support for players aged 16-24 – progressed through to the second round after a 6-3 6-2 victory, the biggest win of his career so far against the world No.14.

The win capped off a fine day for the talented youngster as he entered the top 100 in the ATP rankings for the first time on Monday morning.

Draper is now the fourth British male to be ranked inside the top 100 and believes it highlights the growing strength in depth in the country.

“I think British tennis is in a really exciting place at the moment,” said Draper. “We’ve got a lot of players coming through and getting into the top 100.

“We had the three guys and myself now today. We’re in a really good place for sure.

“I think at the start of my career I hadn’t played in front of a crowd this size that often. The experiences I had last year (playing against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon) definitely helped me.

“The nerves are still there, but I’m just glad to play as well as I did today.”

The 20-year-old made a strong start against the American, moving into a 4-1 lead before eventually taking the first set in just over half an hour.

And he never looked back after breaking Fritz immediately at the start of second set, closing out a comfortable win with a second serve ace.

“It is an amazing result,” added Draper. “The support really helped out there today and I enjoyed my time on court.

“I don’t think there was too many long rallies in the match, most points were won on the first serve.

“The nerves are still there, but I’m just glad to play as well as I did today.”

Although Fritz was seeded fourth it was the Brit in control of proceedings on centre court, responding to a warm reception from The Queen’s Club crowd by producing a confident display.

Draper, who had an excellent run to the quarter-finals here last year, had never met the American until today but didn’t looked phased, winning 50 per cent of his second serves and saving all three break points he faced.

His latest triumph follows on from some fine form in recent months which included a Miami Open win over former world No.6 Gilles Simon and four ATP Challenger Tour titles.

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