In a momentous achievement, British tennis prodigy Jack Draper advanced to his inaugural ATP Tour final after defeating Jan-Lennard Struff at the esteemed Sofia Open, thereby prolonging his remarkable winning streak to nine consecutive matches.
The 21-year-old athlete, who recently secured victory at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Bergamo, Italy, showcased his exceptional skills with a notable 6-3, 6-4 triumph over the German opponent.
Draper is poised to compete against the French second seed, Adrian Mannarino, in the highly anticipated final scheduled for Saturday in Bulgaria.
It’s worth noting that Draper’s accomplishment marks him as the youngest British man to reach an ATP Tour final since the legendary Andy Murray achieved the same feat in Miami 14 years ago at the same age.
“Obviously I am very proud,” Draper said. “Andy is an amazing player. I hope one day I can do what he’s done in the sport but it’s a long way to go and I’ll keep trying.”
At the beginning of the second set, he was under similar pressure, but he managed to save five break points in his first two service games to tie the match.
In the seventh game, he made the crucial break to seal the victory. Three games later, he sealed the victory on his third match point by serving the win.
“I think I’ve got to just try and keep the rhythm,” Draper said. “It was tough out here with some tense moments. It was a semi-final to get into my first final so I was nervous, but I came through it well.”
He will play on Saturday (13:00 GMT) against seasoned world no. 25 Mannarino, who defeated Russian Pavel Kotov 6-2 (7-6) 7-2.