Draper beaten to leave wildcard Peniston the last Brit standing
QUEEN’S CLUB — Jack Draper found the tag of home favourite a tough one to bear as he was beaten 6-2 7-6(2) by Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in the second round at Queen’s to leave Ryan Peniston the last British man standing in the men’s singles.
Draper reached the quarter-finals here last year beating Jannik Sinner and Alexander Bublik before British No 1 Cameron Norrie knocked him out.
But with Norrie losing on Monday to Grigor Dimitrov and Dan Evans being beaten by defending champion Matteo Berrettini, Draper was the highest-ranked remaining British player and appeared to feel the pressure of home hopes on his shoulders as he was broken in his very first service game.
World No 56 Ruusuvuori broke him again to seal the second set 6-2 and despite Draper chastising himself out loud behind the baseline and a supportive crowd getting behind him, the 20-year-old struggled to cope with the flat pace of the Finn.
“There’s not many times that I get outplayed. I felt like today was one of those days,” Draper said afterwards.
“He played a great match. There’s a few things that tactically maybe I could have done better but I’m a bit lost for words. I don’t really know what I could have done loads and loads better.”
Despite spurning a match point at 4-5 in the second, Ruusuvuori dominated the tie-break 7-2 and to book his place in the quarter-finals in fine style.
“I tried to play very aggressive because Jack is such a great player, with so much power,” Ruusuvuori said of Draper, who will now drop out of the top 100 in the world, where he made his debut this week.
The last remaining British singles player Peniston will face Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo third on Centre Court on Thursday, expected around 3.15pm.
There is more British hope in the doubles, where Joe Salisbury and his American playing partner Rajeev Ram saw off Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in straight sets, triumphing 7-6(2) 7-6(3).
Afterwards, tournament director Luiz Procopio Carvalho presented Salisbury, who is the world’s No 1 ranked doubles player, with a cake with the number 150 on it to commemorate reaching a career ATP Tour milestone of wins.
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