British star Jack Draper falls prey to serve-and-volley specialist Maxime Cressy in the Eastbourne semi-final, while Briton suffers a three-set defeat at Wimbledon
- Jack Draper was beaten 7-6 6-7 6-3 by Maxime Cressy in the Eastbourne semi-finals
- Cressy also took the win this week against Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans
- It’s an indication of Draper’s lofty ambitions that he was so disappointed
The day started with Jack Draper finding out that he will face Belgian wildcard Zizou Bergs at Wimbledon – a much more favorable draw than last year’s Novak Djokovic.
Still, it ended in a narrow defeat at Eastbourne, where Maxime Cressy, the 6ft 6in serve and world 60th volleyer, proved too much for the young Briton in the semi-final.
There’s no shame in losing to Cressy, who also beat the two best British men this week in Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans en route to the final in East Sussex.
Jack Draper suffered a 7-6 6-7 6-3 defeat to Maxime Cressy in the semi-final at Eastbourne
An indication of Draper’s lofty ambitions, however, he left the court so disappointed with Friday’s 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 defeat in two hours and 40 minutes.
The 20-year-old from London demands more of himself than ever and has fun on the grass. In recent weeks, Draper defeated Taylor Fritz, the world number 14, in Queen’s and Diego Schwartzman, the world number 15, in Eastbourne. Given his own ranking of 108, this was not a bad two-week preparation for the green stuff.
Cressy made it to the final by beating both Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans this week
Cressy would always be a challenge for Draper and neither man dropped his serve in the opening set. It went to the wire with Cressy taking the tiebreak 7-5. Of course, it was a serve and volley winner that sealed the set for the American.
With Draper leading 5-4 in the second set, Cressy called a medical timeout, with a physio rocking his left leg to free it. It went to another tiebreak, this time Draper took it 7-2.
In the deciding set, Cressy broke Draper for the first time to take a 4-2 lead. The American served for the game and fell 0-40. The Briton had his chance to break back, but Cressy dug deep and won five points in a row to secure a spot in the final at Eastbourne.
It’s an indication of Draper’s lofty ambitions that he was so disappointed at the defeat
“My apologies for this week,” Cressy said, smiling at the crowd. “I know I let all the Brits lose!”
Draper’s Wimbledon opponent Bergs is ranked 146th in the world, although the 23-year-old is deceptively dangerous. Last week he won the Ilkley Trophy and became the first Belgian to win on grass since Olivier Rochus in 2009.
Still, Draper will cherish his chances of reaching the second round on SW19 after a good run on the grass.