Jack Draper defeats Felix Auger-Aliassime in monumental US Open victory




Draper took control of the contest from the first game, never letting up in a 6-4 6-4 6-4 success - Shutterstock
Draper took control of the contest from the first game, never letting up in a 6-4 6-4 6-4 success - Shutterstock  

Jack Draper reached the third round at a major for the first time after the biggest win of his life against world No 8 Felix Auger-Aliassime at the US Open.

Upon securing the monumental victory Draper, 20, smiled knowingly up at his player box and then launched a ball up high into the rafters of Louis Armstrong Stadium. Then he crouched down and roared at the ground in a huge outpouring of emotion after a controlled, mature and utterly dominant display which saw him win 6-4 6-4 6-4.

He overcame his Canadian opponent in a competitive and high level match, but one where - despite being the underdog - he always looked the more comfortable player. It was the culmination of a phenomenal year for Draper, climbing from outside the top 250 to now - with this victory - at least to 46th in the world.

It means that, after this tournament, Britain will have four men in the world's top 50 for the first time ever. Draper's performance was worthy of that new milestone.

Jack Draper hits a shot against Felix Auger-Aliassime on day three of the US Open - USA TODAY Sports
Jack Draper hits a shot against Felix Auger-Aliassime on day three of the US Open - USA TODAY Sports  

He held serve for the duration of the straight sets victory, even holding off two break points to calmly take the opener. Then, in the seventh game of the second set, he clinched the all-important break with a backhand passing shot down the line that had the crowd oohing and ahhing. A 136mph ace then secured the two-set lead and he never looked back.

Draper defended supremely against his skilful opponent, always forcing him to take the extra shot and eventually Auger-Aliassime began leaking errors.

Draper was locked in, hitting only three unforced errors in the third set to Auger-Aliassime's 11, and the clean hitting made up for his low first-serve percentage.

Felix Auger-Aliassime reacts during his match against Jack Draper - USA TODAY Sports
Felix Auger-Aliassime reacts during his match against Jack Draper - USA TODAY Sports  

At 2-2 in the third, after multiple deuces and an onslaught of baseline belters from the serving Auger-Aliassime, Draper slid full stretch to eke a backhand over the net. Auger-Aliassime, not expecting the ball to come back, clattered his shot into the net for break point. Draper's cross court passing shot in the next point gave him the final advantage he needed to storm to the victory.

Even serving for the match, Draper did not flinch. He held to love, hitting an ace and then serve-and-volley combination to win it at the net.

He will face Russia's Karen Khachanov in the third round.

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