Jack Draper beats compatriot Ryan Peniston to be last Brit standing at Eastbourne as he marches into semi-finals after both Cameron Norrie and Harriet Dart lost their quarter-final ties
- Jack Draper beats compatriot Ryan Peniston to advance to the semi-finals
- The 20-year-old is the last singles Brit standing after defeats for Cameron Norrie and Harriet Dart
- Maxime Cressy, who defeated Dan Evans, did for Cameron Norrie on Thursday
- Harriet Dart was outclassed on Centre Court by superstar Petra Kvitova
And then there was one. After a memorable few days for British tennis here, now only Jack the lad remains standing.
Jack Draper, 20, will carry the flag into the singles semi-finals after he beat compatriot Ryan Peniston on Thursday.
Earlier, both Cameron Norrie and Harriet Dart lost their quarter finals to players who are making a habit of collecting home scalps. Maxime Cressy did for Dan Evans on Wednesday and then edged past Norrie 7-5 7-5.
Jack Draper is the last singles Brit standing after winning his quarter-final tie on Thursday
Next on Centre Court, Dart was ultimately outclassed by Petra Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon champion who beat Katie Boulter 24 hours earlier. No disgrace there.
For Norrie, though, this was a strange end to his Wimbledon preparations. ‘Perfect, exactly what I needed,’ is how he described this week.
After a solitary grass-court win, this defeat, Norrie insisted, allowed him to tailor his schedule.
The 20-year-old advanced past compatriot Ryan Peniston to set up a semi-final date at the traditional pre-Wimbledon warm-up tournament
Harriet Dart (r) shakes the hand of Petra Kvitova after being defeated by the Pole at Eastbourne
But for all of Cressy’s power and deftness, losing to the world No 60 hardly feels like a blessing. Not with Norrie about to lead the British charge at SW19.
‘I don’t know why I am getting asked so much about the being British No 1. For me it’s not the biggest deal in the world,’ he said. ‘Obviously, it is great to be British No 1… it’s very cool, but does not mean anything.’
Hardly a rallying cry to Aorangi Terrace. Has anyone come up with a good name for when he is on court? Norrie’s knoll, perhaps? ‘No, just keep it traditional,’ he said.
‘It’s very cool to be leading all the British guys in the rankings, but I am just focusing on trying to go deep in Wimby.’
The two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova looks in ominous form ahead of the tournament next week
Cameron Norrie is still searching for his first title on grass after losing to Maxime Cressy of the USA in straight sets
This was the world No 12’s second Eastbourne quarter-final and his second defeat. He still awaits a first title on grass. Draper remains in the hunt here after he beat Peniston, who reached the quarter finals with victory over Pedro Martinez earlier in the day.
Against Draper, Peniston broke early in both sets, only for the 20-year-old to twice wrest back control. It ended 6-3 6-3.
On Friday, Draper will face Cressy and learn his first-round fate at Wimbledon. On debut last year, he faced Novak Djokovic.
‘I was in Aorgani Park watching it on the big screen,’ he recalled. ‘Hopefully this time I will be on court when it happens so I am not getting nervous.’
Draper added: ‘I definitely believe in my ability and my game to beat the best players in the world, especially on grass. I will go to Wimbledon confident whoever I play… there is no doubt I can go far next week but at the same time there are a lot of things that need to fall into place.’
Maxime Cressy exhibited power and deftness in his 7-5 7-5 victory over Brit Cameron Norrie