Draper Denied First Tour-Level Title By Remarkable Lehecka In Adelaide

Draper Denied First Tour-Level Title By Remarkable Lehecka In Adelaide

by Erik Virostko

Jack Draper got close to an ATP Tour-level title again, but once again, he lost in the final, this time to Jiri Lehecka at the 2024 Adelaide International.

It was only the second Tour-level final for the Brit, and it was second in two months, as the last tournament he played, was a final participation in Sofia, where he lost to Adrian Mannarino in the final.

After that, Draper won the UTS Grand Final in London, which certainly gave him a lot of confidence, and he was showing that confidence in Adelaide, cruising past most of his opponents to reach another final.

If we count also the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, which is not an official ATP event, but the Brit had to beat the likes of Holger Rune and Casper Ruud to win the title, then he won 18 of the last 20 matches that he played before this final.

In short, Draper was in an amazing form, but there was one man to spoil the party, fellow rising star, 22-year-old Jiri Lehecka from the Czech Republic, who bested some of the biggest favourites at the event such as Nicolas Jarry and Sebastian Korda.

But the match started much better for the British player. He had five break points in the first set, spread across three different games, and even though he used only one, it was enough, because his opponent couldn't create a single chance, so Draper won the set 6-4.

The second set proved to be more challenging for the world no. 62, as he couldn't find the same precision as he did in the first set, but also because Lehecka started finding his best level. The Czech player broke in the tenth game and sent the match into the decider after winning the set 6-4.

In the third set, the seventh seed just seemed to be one step ahead of Draper, especially on his serve. The Czech got a break already in the second game, and after he saved three break points in the fifth game, nothing was stopping him from winning.

After two hours and nine minutes, Lehecka won the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to win the 2024 Adelaide International, which is his maiden ATP title.


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