Rising Above: Jack Draper's Positive Takeaways from Australian Open Setback

Jack Draper played two physically demanding matches at the Australian Open

by Jovica Ilic
Rising Above: Jack Draper's Positive Takeaways from Australian Open Setback
© Daniel Pockett / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The young Briton Jack Draper lost in the second round of the Australian Open following two grueling matches. Draper fell to the 14th seed Tommy Paul 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the second round, missing a chance to force a decider and hitting the exit door after two hours and 58 minutes at Kia Arena.

Draper takes positive notes from Melbourne despite an early loss, recovering his body after the first match when he had to vomit right after shaking hands with his opponent. Jack admitted he felt good physically against Tommy, which is a significant improvement in comparison to 2023 when he struggled a lot physically.

Draper came to Melbourne following a deep run in Adelaide, reaching the final at the ATP 250 event and falling to Jiri Lehecka in three sets, missing his first ATP title. Jack placed 165 ATP points into his pocket but could not recover in time for the Australian Open and get used to the conditions.

Draper played his first match at Melbourne Park against Marcos Giron, surviving the rival and Melbourne heat and prevailing in a five-setter.

Jack Draper, Australian Open 2024© Daniel Pockett / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Jack barely endured the effort, vomiting right after the end and gathering dark clouds ahead of his second-round duel.

However, the Briton fought well against Paul, saying he would have been ready for a decider had he forced it. Tommy competed at a high level, firing 40 winners and losing serve three times. The American took charge on the return, accumulating 19 opportunities and seizing six to seal the deal in four sets.

The encounter could have seen a decider, with Jack wasting three set points on the return in the tenth game of the fourth set. Paul missed break chances in the encounter's first game before forging the lead with a break at 1-1 after forcing Draper's mistake.

The American landed a backhand down the line winner in the fifth game, seizing another break and forging a 4-1 advantage. Jack pulled one break back in game six before losing serve for the third straight time in the next one, pushing Tommy 5-2 in front after netting a backhand.

Jack Draper is leaving Melbourne with positive vibes.

The American claimed the opener 6-2 and gained a boost ahead of set number two. Draper took charge and produced five comfortable holds, barely losing a point and mounting the pressure on Paul.

The young Briton forced the rival's mistake in the fourth game, moving in front and wrapping up the set with a hold at love at 5-3, leveling the overall score after 80 minutes. Paul responded with an excellent serving in set number three, losing five points in his games and restoring the order.

The American attacked with a powerful backhand in the second game and grabbed a break that pushed him 2-0 up. Draper denied three set points on serve at 2-5 before Paul clinched the ninth game with a service winner, forging two sets to one advantage after two hours.

Tommy broke at 15 at the start of the fourth set and lost the advantage when Jack pulled the break back at 1-2 after causing the opponent's mistake. They served well in the upcoming games, with Jack opening a 5-4 advantage.

Tommy faced two set points on serve in game ten and denied them for a crucial hold and 5-5. Jack played a terrible forehand on a break point in game 11, falling 6-5 behind and allowing Tommy to emerge at the top with an unreturned serve in game 12.

Jack Draper, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

"I felt good on the court; unlike the first round, there were no issues with my fitness. I could have endured a five-setter physically, which is a positive thing.

I struggled with injuries last year and worked on that in the off-season. I played plenty of tennis before Melbourne, which did not help me. However, I reached the final in Auckland, and it will boost my ranking. I feel confident about my body, hoping to prioritize Majors by the grass swing," Jack Draper said.

Jack Draper Australian Open