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PREVIEW: Jack Draper and Diego Schwartzmann face off in ATP Eastbourne Invitational while Cameron Norrie takes on Brandon Nakashima

We take a look at the two interesting clashes in between Jack Draper and Diego Schwartzmann as well as Cameron Norrie and Brandon Nakashima.

We take a look at the two interesting clashes in between Jack Draper and Diego Schwartzmann as well as Cameron Norrie and Brandon Nakashima.

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2022 ATP Tour
ATP 250 Series
Eastbourne Invitational
Devonshire Park, Lawn Tennis Club (Outdoor Grass-court)
Selected Round of 16 Matches- 22nd June

Jack Draper (4/7) vs Diego Schwartzmann (4) (5/4)

With Matthew Fitzpatrick’s US Open victory still fresh in the memory, could 20-year-old Jack Draper bring further British delight with victory at Eastbourne this year? The rising star came to our attention last year with a heroic display against Djokovic in the first round of Wimbledon.

Draper managed to nick a set off of the Serb in his first Grand Slam main draw appearance (talk about a baptism of fire). Draper has grown in stature this season, becoming the first man to win four Challenger events in the opening quarter of a season. His performances saw him momentarily enter the world’s top 100 (though a disappointing 2nd round defeat at Queens saw him lose his grip on that status).

But Draper shouldn’t be too discouraged. At Queens he managed to soundly beat the dangerous Taylor Fritz. And he absolutely dismantled the more experienced Jerome Brooksby in his opening match here. A former Junior Wimbledon finalist, Draper could very well be the next Emma Radacanu.

29-year-old Argentine Diego Schwartzman has enjoyed a pretty solid 2022. To be fair, much of his success has been on his beloved clay. He reached back-to-back finals in Argentina and Rio. He also reached the semi-finals in Barcelona (in slightly more illustrious company). He then had the misfortune of running into Novak Djokovic in the 4th round of Roland Garros. But all in all, it was a pretty solid clay-court campaign for the diminutive Argentine. But Schwartzman has never been the greatest grass-court competitor.

He only managed to win his first grass-court match in 2018. His first-round defeat to Sam Querrey at Queens took his dismal career grass-court record to 7-12. Schwartzman’s Olympic athleticism counts for little on these quicker surfaces. He will need to be at his best to defuse the power of hometown hero Jack Draper.

The Verdict: Draper to win in straight sets at 6/4- This will be the first meeting between these two. I really think that Draper has what it takes to dismantle Schwartman’s baseline-orientated game.

This will be a bit of a David-and-Goliath affair, with the 6 ft 4 Draper towering over the 5 ft 7 Schwartzman. And I think that Draper will use his height and power to dominate the Schwartzman. Schwartzman is a celebrated counterpuncher but I just think Draper will ride the wave of home support to victory here.

Cameron Norrie (1) (8/13) vs Brandon Nakashima (6/5)

From a rising Brit star to an established one, Cameron Norrie has chosen to compete at Eastbourne this week after crashing out to Grigor Dimitrov in the opening round of Queens. He clearly wants to get a little bit more prep ahead of this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

Norrie has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the sport over the last 18 months, winning four titles and showing dexterity on all surfaces. He has won titles in Mexico and Lyon this year (showcasing both his hardcourt and clay-court nous). Norrie managed to reach the final in Queens last year but he is still yet to win his maiden grass-court title.

A classic counterpuncher, Norrie’s ability to utilize the hackneyed serve-and-volley makes him a dangerous opponent on this surface. He volleys well and covers every inch of the court. But he is vulnerable on his 2nd serve. Against Dimitrov he won only 9 of his 25 2nd serve points.

20-year-old Brandon Nakashima rose to prominence last season with two ATP finals (he lost both the Los Cabos Open and Atlanta Open finals).

The wildly talented American managed to reach the 2021 Next Generation ATP Finals- losing to Seb Korda in the semi-finals. He has struggled to replicate that type of form this year, with a humdrum season record of 18-15 (which includes lower-tier events). But he enters this match with significantly more grass-court tennis under his belt than Norrie.

He is actually 9-2 on grass this season. He reached the quarterfinals of both the Surbiton Trophy and Den Bosch events. He came through qualifying this week and beat another Brit- Jay Clarke- in his first-round match. He will need to elevate his game significantly against the nuggety Norrie.

The Verdict: Norrie to win in three sets at 3/1- These two actually have a mini rivalry already, exchanging hardcourt victories over the past two seasons. Norrie easily dispatched Nakashima in the final of last year’s Los Cabos Open. These two aren’t too dissimilar from one another. Both are energetic players who don’t mind long exchanges. Nakashima is probably more aggressive and may look to dictate the play.

But Norrie’s defensive capabilities will take some beating. Both players are weak on their 2nd serve and I can imagine several breaks of serve throughout the match. But Norrie’s resilience should see him through a tight encounter.

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