Jack Draper innovates at Eastbourne | UKTN

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#NextGenATP Britain’s Jack Draper reached new heights at the Rothesay International on Thursday, dispatching compatriot Ryan Peniston 6-3, 6-3 to reach his first UKTN semi-final.

The 20-year-old defeated world number 15 Diego Schwartzman earlier this week in Eastbourne and backed up that win with another dominating performance on the grass in front of a vocal home crowd.

Draper dictated the game with his aggressive groundstrokes, while he caused Peniston problems with his left-handed serve to advance after 76 minutes, boosting his chances of qualifying for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals. The southpaw is currently fifth in the ATP Race To Milan as he looks to compete in the 21-and-under event for the first time this season.

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The four-time ATP Challenger Tour champion is now 94th in the Pepperstone ATP Live rankings after his strong run at Eastbourne. Draper, who beat Taylor Fritz at Queen’s Club last week, will face Maxime Cressy in the last four.

“I know what Maxime is going to do to me. I saw him play a bit of Dan [Evans] and cam [Norrie] over the past two days,” Draper said of his match with Cressy. “He had been on the [ATP] Challenger tower. I saw him a lot on the same tournaments. He is very unique. He’s got a pretty traditional game, so it’s going to be fun to play him.”

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Peniston was in his second tour-level quarter-final in as many weeks, having reached the last eight at the Cinch Championships on his UKTN debut. The 26-year-old is ranked 135th in the Pepperstone ATP Live rankings, having knocked out #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune and Spaniard Pedro Martinez earlier this week.

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