Jack Draper held firm in the face of a strong start from Chun-Hsin Tseng on Wednesday at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, where the Briton completed a 1-4, 4-2, 4-3(2), 4-2 round-robin victory.

It was a crucial win for the 20-year-old as he seeks to progress to the semi-finals on debut at the 21-and-under season finale. Draper now owns a 1-1 record in Red Group, and he was delighted with the way he had bounced back against Tseng, having fallen to Dominic Stricker in his opening match.

“I thought Stricker played an amazing match yesterday, so all credit to him,” said Draper after his 93-minute triumph against Tseng. “I maybe wasn’t at my best, but I thought he played an exceptionally good match so it was tough to go to sleep last night knowing that I played OK and still lost.

“Today I knew it would be a really tough match and I came out a bit slow but I had a good talking to myself and tried to really find a way. I was able to do that today so I’m really happy.”

A rapid opening saw Tseng strike the ball more consistently than Draper in the pair’s first tour-level meeting. The 21-year-old from Chinese Taipei stayed solid to nullify his opponent’s power and clinched the only break of a 17-minute first set as the quicker shot clock (just 15 seconds if the server hits an ace, a double fault or if the returner misses the return through forced or unforced error) contributed to the intense speed of the match.

Draper found rhythm behind his big lefty forehand at the start of the second set, however, and it became the dominant weapon in the match thereafter. The Briton bludgeoned 19 winners, including six aces, as his superior power ultimately proved decisive.

“It’s a quick format, so you need to be sharp,” said Draper. “When I sat down for the change of ends at the end of the first set, I had a real go at myself. I said, ‘You’ve got to be sharper, you’ve got to be more switched on and you’ve got to be alert out here’, because it can go very quickly if you’re not quite all there. So, I’m glad I mentally turned things round.”

Draper’s win opens the door for Lorenzo Musetti to seal his semi-final spot on Wednesday evening. The home favourite takes on Dominic Stricker in the final match of the day at the Allianz Cloud, where he can seal his progress from the round-robin stage with a straight-sets victory against the Swiss.

[ATP APP]

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