Miami Open: Jack Draper A “Better Player” Ahead Of Rematch With Cameron Norrie

The two Brits, who face each other in the Miami Open second round, met at Queens last year, with Norrie coming out on top
13:10, 24 Mar 2022

On Friday, out in the Florida sun, the heat will rise on court at the Miami Open as we witness a Battle of Britain between Jack Draper and Cameron Norrie in the second round. 

The pair previously met in the Queen’s Club Championships last year and Draper has already said that he is a “better player now than he was then”. And from his straight sets victory over former world No. 6 Gilles Simon in the first round, 7-5 6-1, it definitely looks that way. 

That was his first ever Masters 1000 match and he looks to have already learned from the rich experience he gained in 2021 to help prepare him for his rematch with his compatriot.

The Sutton-born star was handed a wildcard entry into this tournament as a result of his management company owning it. He has already gone further than he did a year ago, also as a wildcard, when he was forced to retire after collapsing under the sun after going one set down against Mikhail Kukushkin.

Jack Draper
Jack Draper

12 months later and the 20-year-old was not only prepared for the blustery and humid conditions the ‘Sunshine State’ had to offer, but he wasn’t fazed at all this time around as he outclassed Simon, continuously capitalising on his poor service, and the match was wrapped up in one hour and 48 minutes. Draper, ranked 146 in the world, will see a rise in the rankings by about 16 places, subsequently seeing him jump above his first round opponent.

When Draper and Norrie met at Queens last year, it was world No. 12 Norrie who came out on top in straight sets 6-3 6-3 in the quarter-finals. Draper did extremely well to get that far in the tournament, defeating some tough opposition to get to Norrie. He dispensed with Jannik Sinner and Alexander Bublik, who were then ranked 23 and 39 respectively. 

Since his ATP breakthrough, Draper has sought to improve his game and he has looked sharp this season, having already claimed three Challenger titles which saw him break into the top 150. The three titles all came in the Italian city of Forli, which stages multiple tournaments.

Draper will be looking to show Norrie just how far he has come since their meeting a year ago and is looking forward to the challenge against the number one Brit. 

Speaking to Amazon Prime, Draper said: “It’s going to be a tough one because I think he might be [in the] top ten this week, I’m not too sure but he’s doing incredibly well at the moment so it’s a good challenge for me to see where I’m at.

Cameron Norrie
Cameron Norrie

“I think I’m just a better player eight months, nine months on and I think he is as well but it will be good for both of us to get on court and battle, and let’s see what happens.”

The youngster is still a raw talent on the professional circuit but his early impressions this season have been more than promising and his tennis is only going to get better. The left-handed star can start battling his fellow countryman for the title of being the best Britain has to offer on court in the mens’ game, but his ambition won’t stop there and rightly so.

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