ATP Basel: Carlos Alcaraz battles past Jack Draper

Tennis - World no. 1 had to work hard against the young Briton in the first round

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Basel: Carlos Alcaraz battles past Jack Draper

Carlos Alcaraz made a winning debut at the ATP 500 event in Basel. World no. 1 took down the young Briton Jack Draper 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 17 minutes, overcoming a slow start and prevailing in the decider. The US Open champion scored only his second victory after New York, kicking off the campaign and hoping to increase the lead over world no.

2 Rafael Nadal. Draper gave his everything against the world's leading player, erasing a break deficit in the final set and barely missing an opportunity to force a tie break and extend his chances. Carlos won two points more and had more winners and unforced errors than his rival.

The Spaniard saved four out of seven break points and grabbed four return games that carried him over the top. There was nothing to separate them in the shortest and extended rallies, and it all came to Alcaraz's late break in the final set.

Carlos Alcaraz prevailed over Jack Draper.

Carlos saved a break point in the encounter's first game before Jack broke him at 1-1 to forge the advantage. The Briton held at 15 in game four to cement the lead and fired service winners at deuce in game six for 4-2.

Draper defended two break points in the eighth game with brave hitting and cracked a forehand down the line winner at 5-3 for a break at love and the opening set. Carlos broke a left-hander at the start of the second set and grabbed the second consecutive break for 3-0.

The Spaniard delivered four comfortable holds and wrapped up the set with a drop shot winner at 5-2 to force a decider. Draper hit a double fault at 2-2 to experience a break and fall further behind the positive score. Alcaraz forced the rival's mistake in game six for a hold at 15 and another big step toward the finish line.

Jack served well in game seven to remain in touch and pulled the break back in the next one to lock the result at 4-4 and gain a boost. Draper held at 30 in game nine to build the advantage, with world no. 1 serving to stay in the match.

Carlos held at 30 with a volley winner and cracked a backhand down the line winner in the next one for a crucial break at 15. The Briton fended off two match points in game 12 and earned two break chances. Alcaraz erased both with winners and painted a forehand down the line winner on the third match point for a place in the second round.

Atp Basel Carlos Alcaraz Jack Draper