Jack Draper is firing in Miami as he dispatches former world no. six Gilles Simon to set up an all-British second-round clash with Cam Norrie
- Jack Draper won his first-ever Masters 1000 match 7-5 6-1 against Gilles Simon
- Draper has booked a spot in an all-British second-round clash with Cam Norrie
- Draper made his ATP Tour main-draw debut in Miami last year as a wildcard
- The 20-year-old’s time on court was cut short when he collapsed in the heat
Jack Draper translated his excellent recent form on the secondary Challenger circuit onto the main tour when he reached the second round of the Miami Open on Wednesday night.
A second round against British number one Cam Norrie awaits after the 20 year-old from Surrey dispatched former world number six Gilles Simon 7-5 6-1.
It was his first win on the ATP Tour since a breakthrough week at Queen’s last summer, where he reached the quarter finals before falling to Norrie.
Jack Draper (above) won his first-ever Masters 1000 match 7-5 6-1 against Gilles Simon
Draper sought higher level confirmation of his sharp improvement this season, which has seen him win three Challenger titles and move into the top 150. All of them have come in the Italian city of Forli, which stages multiple tournaments.
He was given a wildcard into this Masters event, courtesy of his management company who own it, and the results were very different from when he received one a year ago.
Back then he had to retire with heat exhaustion, but twelve months on he proved more hardy in the steaming humidity.
Simon, 37, is not the player he was and is now down to 139, just above Draper. Nonetheless he still gets a lot of balls back from the baseline and GB’s best male prospect had to work hard to win a lot of the points, a task he was equal to.
As a result, Draper has booked a spot in an all-British second-round clash with Cam Norrie
‘It was tough conditions, especially after what happened last year, which was in the back of my mind a bit,’ said Draper. ‘I think I showed the results of the work I have been doing for the past six months.
‘I’m looking forward to sharing the court with Cam, he has been very encouraging to me. I’m not here on my own merit so there is more to do. I played him at Queen’s but I am a better player now than I was then.’
The lefthanded Draper was in command for most of the match, but had to recover from a wobble at 4-3 in the second set when he was broken back by the French veteran. He got two breaks up in the third and held on in conditions that were both blustery and humid.