Disappointment for Britain’s Jack Draper who failed to match his last year’s run at Queen’s when he lost in the second round to Finland’s Emil Ruusuovuori (who came through the qualifying competition) in straight sets at the ‘cinch Championships’
I could have tried to get on his second serve a bit more. The court was a lot faster than on the first day which took some getting used to Jack Draper
The 20-year-old Draper was beaten 6-2 7-6(2) by the 23-year-old Ruusuvuori, who is set to enter the world’s top 50 next week.
Draper, who made his top-100 debut last Monday, lost serve twice in the first set as Ruusuvuori took control of the match and never looked troubled in the second set as he romped into the last eight despite being taken to a tie-break.
However, Draper put it all down to experience, declaring:
“I can take a lot from this and move quickly onto Eastbourne next week, then Wimbledon. Obviously, it has been a positive week, beating a top player in Taylor (Fritz) but also I can definitely take some lessons from today which will help me move forward for sure.
“I could have tried to get on his second serve a bit more. The court was a lot faster than on the first day which took some getting used to.”
Draper was unable to replicate his performance of last Monday when he overwhelmed Taylor Fritz, the fourth seed, with his power game which he wasn’t allowed to redeploy by the Finn who never gave him time to settle with his bullet like groundstrokes flying low over the net.
Unable to unload his powerful forehand Draper lost his first service game when Ruusuvuori converted his fourth break point to go 2-0 up and set the scene for the rest of the match.
Draper was broken again in the eighth game, hitting a backhand into the net as Ruusuvuori took the set.
In the second set, Draper’s serve continued to come under pressure.
In the sixth game the British number four hit three aces and three double faults before eventually holding and then faced more pressure in the 10th game.
Draper saved a match point with a strong swinging first serve out wide and, while far from his best, continued to fight.
A volley into the net from Draper brought up four more match points for the Finn, who sealed an impressive victory with a service winner.
Home hopes now rest with Ryan Peniston, the British No.7 who is in action on Thursday, a player making his debut on the main Tour.
Peniston is facing a clay court specialist from Argentina, Francisco Cerundolo.
There was also disappointment for former Queen’s Club champion, Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, who was beaten 7-6(5) 6-3 by Holland’s Botic Van de Zandschulp while Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain, overcame Aussie Alex de Minaur in a tight match 4-6 6-4 7-5.
In the doubles event, Britain’s Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram came out on top against Britain’s Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares, winning 7-6(2) 7-6(3) in a repeat of last year’s US Open final.
“I know we played a good match today, but we’re up against a top team and even though we lost there were some positives in the performance,” Murray said.
“We still have Eastbourne next week to get more time out on the grass. Hopefully we’ll build a bit of momentum heading into Wimbledon. I’m really looking forward to playing there in a couple of weeks and giving it my best shot.”
Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland acknowledges the crowd