Jack Draper of Britain was defeated by Jiri Lehecka in the final of the Adelaide International, preventing him from claiming his first ATP Tour title. Despite reaching his first final in Sofia last season, where he was defeated by experienced French player Adrian Mannarino, the 22-year-old was unable to secure the win against Lehecka after a strong start. Draper had a promising week in Australia, but ultimately lost to Lehecka 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
As the match neared its end, he appeared increasingly fatigued and will need to recuperate swiftly for his upcoming first-round match against American player Marcos Giron at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Draper praised Lehecka for her performance on the court, stating, “Your first title was well-deserved. I was hoping to achieve the same today, but you were the superior player. I hope to continue playing at a high level in future important matches.”
The only uncertainty regarding Draper’s potential to excel in the sport is his physical condition, as a series of injuries hindered his advancement last season. Despite this setback, his exceptional skills were evident in the first set against his 22-year-old counterpart, as he flawlessly broke Lehecka’s serve in the seventh game.
The Czech player, known for their precise shots, advanced to the quarter-finals in last year’s Australian Open. In the second set, they were struggling but managed to make an impressive volley at 4-4 0-30 and then capitalized on a shaky game from Draper to even the score.
The fourth-ranked British player grew more agitated in the beginning of the final set. Despite having three opportunities to even the score, he was unsuccessful and it was Lehecka who ultimately claimed his first ATP Tour championship.
Davis Cup teammate Joe Salisbury of Draper emerged victorious with a trophy in hand as he and his American counterpart, Rajeev Ram, clinched the doubles title by a narrow margin against Indian-Australian pair Rohan Bopanna and Matt Ebden.