Jack Draper beats Andy Murray in generational Battle of Britain clash in Indian Wells

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Jack Draper has made no secret of the influence Andy Murray has had on his nascent career first as an idol then practice partner and confidant.

And the pair’s first ATP Tour encounter at Indian Wells proved something of a generational shift as Draper won their much-anticipated match 7-6, 6-2.

Murray, known for his ability to pick out tennis talent, has long talked up Draper as having the potential to be one of the world’s best players with his big left-arm serve and forehand.

And it was those weapons that proved Murray’s undoing in a two-hour match that didn’t disappoint after which the pair had a long embrace and talk at the net.

“I’ve looked up to Andy since I was so young,” said Draper in the aftermath of a win, which will put him above his countryman in the world rankings. “I watched him win Wimbledon for the first time in 2013 and then I’ve had the opportunity to get to know him and practise with him often since 2019.

“He’s a really special person, a great champion, great human being and I’m privileged to play against him on this court.”

Neither player could separated in a tight first set which included 10 points, seven of them in favour of Draper. The 21-year-old broke first for a 3-1 lead but allow the nerves to creep in when serving for the set at 5-4 only to be broken to love.

Undeterred by the setback, he held firm to win the tiebreak and take the first set.

That seemed to merely lift the Draper confidence as he increasingly went to the net – from which he won 18 from a possible 26 points. He again got the first break for a 4-2 kead but immediately found himself staring down break points. He staved off that threat and broke Murray again for a win, which sets up a meeting against world No2 Carlos Alcaraz.

Having defeated Dan Evans in the previous round, Draper said: “Beating Dan and Andy, that’s about as much confidence as I’d need for that match. Carlos is up another level, he’s been No1 in the world, had an exceptional year last year.

“I want to keep on trying to impose my game and use my weapons. It’s not easy in those conditions. It’s quite slow tonight, the wind was a bit swirly and obviously playing against Andy, he makes it incredibly awkward for you.”