Jack Draper is the last Brit standing at Eastbourne
Jack Draper defeats compatriot Ryan Peniston to become the last Briton standing in Eastbourne as he marches to the semi-finals after both Cameron Norrie and Harriet Dart lost their quarter-finals
- Jack Draper defeats compatriot Ryan Peniston to advance to semifinals
- The 20-year-old is the last British single to stand after defeats to Cameron Norrie and Harriet Dart
- Maxime Cressy, who defeated Dan Evans, did it for Cameron Norrie on Thursday
- Harriet Dart was outclassed at Center Court by superstar Petra Kvitova
And then there was one. After a memorable few days for British tennis here, only Jack the boy remains standing.
Jack Draper, 20, will carry the flag to the singles semifinals after beating compatriot Ryan Peniston on Thursday.
Previously, both Cameron Norrie and Harriet Dart lost their quarterfinals to players who make a habit of collecting scalps for the home. Maxime Cressy did it for Dan Evans on Wednesday and then went 7-5 7-5 past Norrie.
Jack Draper is the last single Brit standing after winning his quarterfinal on Thursday
Next up on Center Court, Dart was finally outclassed by Petra Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon champion who defeated Katie Boulter 24 hours earlier. No shame there.
For Norrie, however, this marked a strange end to his Wimbledon preparations. ‘Perfect, exactly what I needed’, is how he described this week.
After a lone victory on the lawn, this defeat, Norrie insisted, allowed him to adjust his schedule.
The 20-year-old edged past compatriot Ryan Peniston to settle a semi-final at the traditional pre-Wimbledon warm-up tournament
Harriet Dart (r) shakes hands with Petra Kvitova after being defeated by the Pole in Eastbourne
But for all Cressy’s strength and agility, losing to World No. 60 hardly feels like a blessing. Not with Norrie about to lead the British attack at SW19.
‘I don’t know why I’m being asked so much about being the UK’s number one. For me it’s not the biggest deal in the world,” he said. “Of course it’s great to be UK number 1 … it’s very cool, but it doesn’t mean anything.”
Hardly a rallying cry for Aorangi Terrace. Has anyone come up with a good name for when on the track? Norrie’s Hill perhaps? “No, just keep it traditional,” he said.
“It’s really cool to lead all the British guys in the rankings, but I’m just focusing on trying to get deep into Wimby.”
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova looks ominous ahead of next week’s tournament
Cameron Norrie is still looking for his first title on grass after losing in straight sets to Maxime Cressy of the US
This was the second quarter final of the number 12 at Eastbourne and his second loss. He is still waiting for a first title on grass. Draper remains in the hunt here after beating Peniston, who reached the quarterfinals earlier in the day with a win over Pedro Martinez.
Against Draper, Peniston broke early in both sets, only for the 20-year-old to regain control twice. It ended 6-3 6-3.
On Friday, Draper will face Cressy and learn his fate in the first round at Wimbledon. On his debut last year, he faced Novak Djokovic.
“I was in Aorgani Park and watched it on the big screen,” he recalls. “Hopefully this time I’ll be on track when it happens so I don’t get nervous.”
Draper added: “I absolutely believe in my ability and my game to beat the best players in the world, especially on grass. I am going to Wimbledon with confidence whoever I play with… I have no doubt I can go far next week, but at the same time there are a lot of things that have to fall into place.”
Maxime Cressy showed strength and agility in his 7-5 7-5 win over Briton Cameron Norrie