Australian Open 2024: Jack Draper seals first win in Melbourne as four Brits reach second round
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Day three at the Australian Open brought plenty of celebration for the Brits as Cam Norrie, Katie Boulter, Jack Draper and Emma Raducanu all booked their spots in round two.
The story of the day was 22-year-old Draper coming back from two sets to one down to defeat world No.66 Marcos Giron 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 in his first victory at Melbourne Park.
Draper fought through the hottest conditions at the tournament so far to win 12 of the last 14 games to mark his maiden five set win at a major.
“I’m obviously very happy,” Draper said. “First five-set win. It wasn't easy sort of getting here, not having much preparation. But to come through that match, obviously proud. The tennis wasn't the best, but I'm just glad I lived to fight another day.
“It is a big positive that physically I was able to come through the match, not cramp. As the match went on, I got better and better.”
Having pushed himself to the limit over the course of three hours and 17 minutes, the young Brit will now face a difficult match-up against 14th seed Tommy Paul. Draper will take great confidence going into the second round having defeated Paul only last week in Adelaide.
“He's obviously a great player,” he said. “First tournament of the year, maybe guys aren't quite finding their game yet. The match I played against him, I was really solid. I played great tennis, but obviously five sets is different. He'll be wanting to get some revenge on me for sure.”
Impressive wins for British No.1s
Boulter dominated her second set tie-break against China’s Yue Yuan to complete a 7-5, 7-6(1) win over the world No.61.
This is only the second time that Boulter has reached the second round at the Australian Open. Awaiting her in the next round will be 12th seed Qinwen Zheng.
“To be out there winning matches at a Grand Slam where ultimately I'm not quite at the level where I wanted to be, I think that kind of shows how far I've come in the past few years,” Boulter explained.
“I expect a lot of myself, but I'm still here through to the second round, and I'm proud of myself for the way that I fought and found a way ultimately.”
Despite coming into the Australian Open citing problems with his wrist, Norrie made light work of his first round clash with Juan Pablo Varillas, with the 19th seed coming through 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 17 minutes.
“I really did the basics well today,” Norrie said. “I especially managed my service games well and I think that was the difference in the match. It was not easy to play at all. It was really quick conditions, and the court was moving around quite a lot with the wind.
“I was a bit nervous obviously always coming into the first slam of the year, so I wanted to really get a big push of energy. I think when it's hot like that, I think you go in with the mentality you're going to be, like, trying to save a little bit, and I wanted to go out with a lot of energy.”
His next opponent will be Italian qualifier Giulio Zeppieri.
Raducanu wins on Grand Slam return
Raducanu reached a new milestone in her recovery from injury after claiming her first Grand Slam win since the Australian Open last year as she beat Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-2.
A dominant performance from the 2021 US Open champion saw her drop just three points off her first serve as she progressed to the second round. Awaiting her is world No.94 Yafan Wang, who knocked out 22nd Sorana Cirstea in the first round.
If Raducanu and Boulter both win their next matches, they will face each other in the third round.
Meanwhile, Evans lost a close battle with former world No.21 Lorenzo Sonego 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-2, 7-6(4) and Murray was defeated by 30th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
Australian Open Britwatch
From juniors to wheelchair draws - track all the Brits' results and draws from this year's Australian Open.