A thrilling display of power and finesse saw Jack “The Power” Draper defeat Casper “The Ice Man” Ruud in three nail-biting quarters to reach the UTS Grand Final. The rising British star will now face Holger Rune in a rematch for the ultimate UTS crown.
Tight Battle of Skill and Strategy:
Draper, the wild card entry who dominated the round-robin stages, faced a determined Ruud who had meticulously studied his game. The match was a captivating dance of baseline rallies and strategic shot selection, with both players pushing each other to the limit.
First Quarter: From Deficit to Triumph:
Ruud initially seized the initiative, building an 8-5 lead with powerful groundstrokes. However, Draper’s signature “long levers” came into play as he turned the tide with a string of breathtaking forehands, ultimately clinching the first quarter 14-13.
Second Quarter: Jack Draper Digs Deep:
Undeterred by the first-quarter loss, Ruud came out firing in the second. He held a commanding 11-9 lead at the quarter-point stage, but Draper dug deep and produced three winning points on the trot to snatch victory 12-11.
Third Quarter: Service Errors Punished:
Capitalizing on unforced errors from Ruud, Draper dominated the early stages of the third quarter. He combined strategic serve-and-volley plays with pinpoint forehands to build a 10-7 lead. Ruud used his bonus card to fight back, reaching 13-11, but Draper once again proved unstoppable, claiming the final three points and a triumphant 14-13 victory.
“Wow…I think I got lucky a little bit towards the end,” admitted Draper in a post-match interview. “But I came up with some really good shots when I needed to, and I’m just delighted to reach the final.”
Draper vs. Rune: Showdown for the Trophy:
Draper now faces Holger Rune, the Danish prodigy he defeated in three straight quarters during the round-robin stage. This rematch promises to be an epic clash of styles and a fitting culmination of the UTS London tournament.