Briton Jack Draper reached the final of the Adelaide International after beating Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.
The 22-year-old prepared for the upcoming Australian Open with a straight-sets win over the No. 8 seed from Kazakhstan.
His opponent in the final will be Czechia’s Jiri Lehecka, and gives him his first chance of landing an ATP final win since his Sofia Open defeat to Adrian Mannarino last year.
Draper is yet to win a title on the ATP Tour circuit and he started well as he went 2-0 up with an early break, only for Bublik to break back, and the two went to a tie-break in the first set.
A break in the decider let him go 4-2 up before he kept his nerve to land the first set after an hour’s tough play.
Bublik was in impressive form too with some spectacular drop shots, but Draper broke and moved into a 4-2 lead that his opponent was unable to force his way back from.
Lehecka, ranked No. 32 in the world, beat Sebastian Korda 6-2 6-1 on Friday to reach the final.
Draper is drawn against Marcos Giron from the USA in the first round of the Australian Open.
In the qualifying round for the Grand Slam, Britain’s Oliver Crawford lost 6-4 6-4 to another Czech player, Vit Kopriva.
Crawford switched to represent Britain last weakening, having been born in the US to parents from Birmingham, and he fell just short in the final round before the main draw.
Draper, Andy Murray, Emma Raducanu, Cameron Norrie, Katie Boulter, Dan Evans and Jodie Burrage will therefore be the seven Britons in the Australian Open, which begins on Sunday.
Read the full article here