Jack Draper topples Ryan Peniston in Britain’s battle to win Eastbourne semi-finals

Jack Draper topples Ryan Peniston in Britain’s battle to win Eastbourne semi-finals

Jack Draper Credit: PA Images

Jack Draper Credit: PA Images

Jack Draper became the last British player to stand in the singles draws at Eastbourne after battling fellow countryman Ryan Peniston to reach the semi-finals.

The 20-year-old tournament debutant won his last five straight games, including breaking his opponent three times in a row, to earn a 6-3 6-3 win at the Rothesay International.

Draper now meets French-born American Maxime Cressy in his first semi-final on the ATP Tour.

Peniston, who was also a quarter-finalist at Queen’s, Nottingham and Surbiton that summer, was eliminated from the competition along with Britain’s Cameron Norrie and Harriet Dart in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Britain’s men’s number one Norrie was denied the first semi-final at Devonshire Park after being beaten 7-5, 7-5 by world no Kvitova was outclassed and lost 6-3, 6. 4.

Draper then provided some much-needed cheering for the home crowd as he backed up Wednesday’s stunning second-round win over world No. 15 Diego Schwartzman by sending on compatriot Peniston.

In a first tour-level meeting between the left-handed wildcards, Peniston initially gained the upper hand as he won the opening two games of an entertaining contest.

But after wasting little time earlier in the day for a 7-6(8) 3-6 6-3 win in their late second-round clash with Spain’s Pedro Martinez, the 26-year-old was up finally beaten well.

World No. 108 Draper needed six of his next seven games at number one to win the opening set before the second followed a similar pattern as he survived a brief momentum swing to clear a 3-1 deficit and move through.

Norrie, seeded ninth at Wimbledon next week, could have waited for Draper in the next round.

But he failed to capitalize on an early break of serve in the opening game on center court when Cressy impressively roared back.

The 26-year-old quickly turned his attention to the upcoming home major at SW19.

“He played a very good match and somehow stole the first set from me,” Norrie said of his defeat.

“I looked like I was going to win that and I kept it easy and he played a really good game to break me and then kept the momentum going.

“I got a few matches here and really enjoyed my time on the pitch.

“It was perfect, just what I needed and I’m going back to London now and I’m obviously just getting ready for Wimby.”

In the women’s draw, Dart showed glimpses of her talent during a spirited performance against 14th seed Kvitova but never seriously threatened an upset.

Kvitova dominated much of the competition thanks to a series of powerful groundstrokes and deservedly grabbed a second British scalp after eliminating Katie Boulter the previous day.

Dart, 25, managed to thwart her Czech opponent’s first two match points, but after briefly converting that precarious position into her first break point of the afternoon, she failed to save the third.

The article Jack Draper topples Ryan Peniston as Britain battles for Eastbourne semi-finals appeared first on Tennis365.com.

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