ATP

Jack Draper reaches Adelaide final to close in on first ATP Tour title

By Sports Desk January 12, 2024

Jack Draper will bid for a first ATP Tour title at the Adelaide International after beating Alexander Bublik in the semi-finals.

The British number four saw off the eccentric Kazakh 7-6 (2) 6-4 to go one better than last year when he fell in the last four.

It represents a second straight ATP Tour final for the 22-year-old, who was beaten by Adrian Mannarino in the trophy decider at the Sofia Open in November.

Draper was twice a break up in the opening set against Bublik, who is one of the most unconventional players on tour.

He dragged Draper around the court with repeated drop shots and one game in the second set featured a rally where both players played lobs between their legs before Bublik sent over an underarm serve and won the point with a volley played with his racket handle.

But there were also nine double faults and a host of unforced errors and Draper maintained his high level to set up a final meeting with Czech Jiri Lehecka.

“It was a really tricky match,” said Draper. “Alexander’s a great player and someone who’s a very unorthodox player. It’s always tricky to play against him.

“He’s actually a really good guy and a good friend as well. We have a lot of fun when we’re competing against each other. I was really happy that I was able to come through and get the win today and be in another final.”

Victory for Draper on Saturday would elevate his ranking back into the top 50 ahead of his Australian Open opener next week.

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