Eastbourne: Jack Draper denied first ATP Tour final in defeat by Maxime Cressy

Jack Draper
Jack Draper had not dropped a set at Eastbourne in his run to the semi-finals, which included wins over world number 34 Jenson Brooksby and world number 15 Diego Schwartzman
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Britain's Jack Draper was denied a first ATP Tour final as he lost to American Maxime Cressy at Eastbourne.

Draper, 20, fell to a 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 defeat against Cressy, who will face compatriot Taylor Fritz in the final of the pre-Wimbledon tournament.

Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova will play defending champion Jelena Ostapenko in the women's final.

Czech Kvitova ended Beatriz Haddad Maia's 12-match winning streak, while Latvia's Ostapenko beat Camila Giorgi.

Draper denied in valiant Cressy battle

Draper - ranked 108 after debuting in the top 100 earlier this month - fought well in an evenly-matched contest against world number 60 Cressy.

The British number four, appearing in his first tour-level semi-final, survived four break points in the opening set before eventually losing out in a tie-break in which he also saved two set points.

Cressy had not dropped a set during his fine Eastbourne run, which has included victories over Britain's top-two male players Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans

But solid serving helped Draper dominate the second tie-break to level the match.

The Briton twice denied his opponent to hold for 2-2 in the final set, but Cressy managed to take his second opportunity in the sixth game - with Draper receiving a code violation for smacking a ball away after falling 4-2 behind.

Draper responded, setting up two break points in the following game and another three as Cressy served for the match, but the American held his nerve impressively on both occasions and rediscovered his serve to see out the match after two hours and 41 minutes.

A run to the last-four means Draper will return to the top 100 next week, ahead of his Wimbledon opener against Belgian wildcard Zizou Bergs.

It is world number 14 Fritz who stands between Cressy and a first tour-level title, after the 2019 winner defeated Australian defending champion Alex de Minaur 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-3.

Kvitova & Ostapenko set up title decider

Kvitova was in fine form as she recorded a straight-set victory over the in-form Haddad Maia, 26, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

The 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion ended the Brazilian world number 29's hopes of winning a third successive tournament following her triumphs in Birmingham and Nottingham earlier this month.

The 32-year-old, world number 31, reached the Eastbourne final in 2011 before going on to win her first Wimbledon title.

She captured the crucial points on Friday, edging a tie-break before recording the only break of serve of the contest in the opening game of the second set.

Former French Open champion Ostapenko became only the third wildcard to win the Eastbourne title last year.

Seeded eighth this time around, the Latvian 25-year-old overpowered Italian Giorgi in a 6-2 6-2 victory.

Ostapenko won four straight games to seal the first set and, with a second break of serve in the second set, booked her return to the final without dropping a set on the south coast.

Kvitova and Ostapenko each have four wins from their previous eight meetings, with Ostapenko winning in three sets in their only match on grass in 2016.

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