Tennis

Winston-Salem | Draper through to face Thiem

The 20-year-old British No 4 Jack Draper has added another well-known scalp to his tennis belt when he defeated the flamboyant Italian, Fabio Fognini to reach the third round of the Winston Salem Open and a meeting with the former US Open champion, Austria’s Dominic Thiem.

Playing-wise it was very tough in the first set. I had a good start actually, and then he somehow broke and it was really difficult Dominic Thiem

Fognini joins Stefanos Tsitsipas and Gael Monfils on Drapere’s list of recent victims which has helped him rise to a career high of 55 in world ranking terms and could rise into the top 40 if he went on to win the 250 ATP Tour event.

The youngster, seeded 13 and following a first-round bye, beat the veteran 35-year-old from Sanremo, Italy, 6-2 4-6 6-1 and hopes to add the Austrian to his belt seeing as the former world No.3 is on the comeback trail following wrist surgery and dropped a bagel in his match with the top seeded Grigor Dimitrov who retired with the score line standing at 0-6 4-2.

After saving two match point against JJ Wolf on Monday night, Thiem made a sluggish start against the Bulgarian before finding his game but as the Austrian went up a level, Dimitrov faded physically and was ultimately forced to retire despite leading.

“The most important [thing] today is that Grigor gets well very soon again,” Thiem said post-match. “The match is not the priority; that’s never the way I want to win a match, especially against Grigor.

“Playing-wise it was very tough in the first set,” he said. “I had a good start actually, and then he somehow broke and it was really difficult.

“I could pick up a little bit my intensity. Yesterday was really tough, over three hours. I finished late, I got to bed at 3:30 and then it was not easy to get the intensity straight up again. It’s very humid, you lose a lot of liquid here, a lot of sweat. So that’s tough and I was not able to have my intensity straight away, but in the second set it got a little bit better.”

Meanwhile Kyle Edmund was unable to follow up his opening round win. He was broken twice in the opening set by Benjamin Bonzi, the 10th seed, who opened up a 5-3 lead before closing it out on his next service game.

The 26-year-old Frenchman then proceeded to claim the second set for his first win in five matches.

In other action Maxime Cressy of the US, the No. 4 seed, moved into the third round with a 6-3 6-3 win over Australia’s James Duckworth, and fellow American Steve Johnson defeated No. 12 seed Pedro Martinez of Mexico 7-6(2) 6-2.

Fifth-seeded Lorenzo Musetti from Italy was upset in the second round by France’s Richard Gasquet 7-6(5) 4-6 6-1, and Georgia’s No. 6 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili fell to Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro 6-4 6-1.

Gasquet’s countryman Adrian Mannarino advanced by defeating ninth-seeded Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-4 6-1.

Dominic Thiem returns a shot in his match with Grigor Dimitrov

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

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