Jack Draper reveals the meaning behind his emotional US Open celebration

Jack Draper US Open Credit: Alamy
Jack Draper US Open Credit: Alamy

Jack Draper is proud of himself after he reached the fourth round of the US Open for the first time in his career.

Draper admits that he hasn’t beat the comeback trail alone with plenty of people lending him a hand as he recovered from injury.

After losses for Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans, Draper remains the lone British man in the US Open field.

Draper bested Michael Mmoh 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-3 in a tense affair on the Grandstand court.

“I’m incredibly proud of myself,” Draper said after the triumph in his on-court interview.

“It’s been a tough year, so to come here and make the fourth round, I’m so happy with myself.

“To all the people who have helped me, that’s what the celebration was for. It’s been a rough one for me but I’m so happy with the way I came out here today.

“These five-set matches aren’t easy. You win the first couple of sets and it looks relatively convincing and he starts picking up his level after a little break and the momentum changes.

“I had to stay strong, and wait for my opportunity in the fourth set and I took advantage of that. It was tough at the end but like I said, I’m very proud of myself.”

Draper came out swinging and quickly seized the impetus but Mmoh stunted his rythym in the third set and pushed the match into a fourth.

A refocused Draper wouldn’t be denied though and he produced a near-perfect effort on serve and took on his opponents delivery.

After a crucial 24-shot rally to take a 4-3 lead in the first set, the 21-year-old secured a critical break, held his serve, and then broke Mmoh again on a fourth break opportunity to claim the first set.

With a break in the first game of the second set, he gained complete control of the match, and Mmoh had an uphill battle to stay in the contest.

The American responded well by pushing Draper all the way in the next game, but the Brit was able to hold in the end to demoralize Mmoh.

The contest provided Draper’s first win in a Grand Slam match going longer than three sets.

Draper’s lead increased to three games after a double-break, and Mmoh was unable to close the gap. Draper crushed an ace down the middle to close out the frame and leave him up two sets.

Mmoh rallied back in the third set, and Draper found himself down a break at 3-1, and it seemed the tide might just turn.

Though Mmoh closed out the third set Draper reasserted himself in the fourth to secure a place in the last 16.

In the next round Draper will face either Andrey Rublev or Arthur Rinderknech.

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