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Wimbledon champion Alcaraz’s reign at Queen’s ends in last-16 loss to Draper

Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz suffered a surprising defeat by Britain’s Jack Draper in the round of 16 at the Queen’s Club tournament in London on Thursday.

Alcaraz, who is also the reigning Queen’s champion, lost 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 to the British number one, marking Draper’s biggest career victory to date.

Ranked world number two, Alcaraz came to this grass-court warm-up event fresh from his French Open triumph on the clay courts of Roland Garros. However, the 21-year-old Spaniard was unable to overcome Draper, 22, who is aiming to become the first British men’s singles champion at Queen’s since Andy Murray’s fifth title in 2016.

Before this match, Alcaraz had not been defeated in seven weeks and had not lost a match on grass in nearly two years. Draper, however, disregarded those statistics, becoming the first British man to defeat a top-two player on grass since Murray defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2013 Wimbledon final.

During the match, Alcaraz was frustrated by the shot clock, which compelled him to rush his serves, leading him to express his displeasure to umpire Mohamed Lahyani.

Reflecting on the outcome, Alcaraz admitted his disappointment: “I’m not feeling great right now. I felt like my game wasn’t at its best, and my movement was off.” He acknowledged Draper’s performance, saying, “I have to give credit to Jack. He played exceptional tennis today.”

For Draper, ranked 31st, this victory followed closely on the heels of his first ATP title in Stuttgart last week. “It was a tough match,” Draper acknowledged. “Carlos is the defending champion, a Wimbledon winner, an incredible talent, and great for the sport.”

In their match, a tight first set concluded in a tie-break after neither player managed to create a break point. Draper took control in the tie-break, clinching it with strong serving to secure the set.

In the second set, Draper earned the crucial break at 3-2 and maintained his advantage to claim victory, despite Alcaraz saving three match points late in the set.

Draper’s next opponent in the quarter-finals will be American fifth-seed Tommy Paul, who defeated Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo 6-3, 6-4.

Additionally, British wildcard Billy Harris advanced to the quarter-finals alongside Draper after defeating French qualifier Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard 6-4, 7-5.

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