ATP Tour: Jack Draper slams 31 aces to down Taifoe; Berrettini reaches semis in Stuttgart

Stuttgart, June 14 (IANS) British star Jack Draper continued to impress on the lawns in Stuttgart on Friday, slamming 31 aces to claw his way past last year’s champion Frances Tiafoe of the USA to reach the semifinals of the Stuttgart Open here on Friday.

The 22-year-old Draper defeated Tiafoe 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(1) to reach the semifinals, joining Matteo Berrettini of Italy and American Brandon Nakashima, who reached the last-four stage after getting a walkover from Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.

The focus was on Draper as he took on Tiafoe in the quarterfinal clash. The lefty, who looks set to move up seven spots to No. 33 in the ATP Live Rankings, produced an explosive display on serve at the ATP 250 event. Draper fired 31 aces, according to Infosys ATP Stats, and backed up pinpoint deliveries with fierce groundstrokes to advance to his sixth tour-level semi-final after two hours and 13 minutes.

Draper is aiming to win his maiden ATP Tour title this week and has looked comfortable on the grass in Germany. The 22-year-old arrived in Stuttgart off the back of three consecutive defeats on clay but has re-discovered the winning formula this week to improve to 16-12 on the season.

With his victory, Draper improved to 1-1 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against Tiafoe, who is 13-13 in 2024. Draper will face Brandon Nakashima in the semi-finals after the American received a walkover from Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff due to illness.

Later on Friday, Berrettini improved his perfect record in tour-level quarterfinals on grass to 7-0 by defeating qualifier James Duckworth 6-4, 7-5. A single break of serve in each set was enough for the two-time champion to overcome the World No. 101 Duckworth in the pair’s maiden ATP head-to-head meeting.

Berrettini is now 12-1 in Stuttgart, where he lifted the trophy in 2019 and 2022. Before this week in Germany, he had not competed since early April. Yet the 28-year-old Italian is now into his first grass-court semi-final since his 2022 Queen’s Club triumph. A former No. 6 in the ATP Rankings, Berrettini will take on his countryman Lorenzo Musetti in the last four. The fifth-seeded Musetti advanced after Alexander Bublik retired from the pair’s quarter-final with the Italian leading 4-6, 6-1, 1-0.



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