After a week of enthralling grass court tennis, the semifinals of the ATP 250 event in Eastbourne are upon us. Home favorite Jack Draper is playing in his first ATP Tour semifinal, as he takes on Maxime Cressy. Draper has recorded impressive wins over Diego Schwartzman and Taylor Fritz this grass court season, and is brimming with confidence. Defending champion Alex De Minaur takes on Taylor Fritz in the other semifinal, in a match that features contrasting styles. I share my predictions for Friday’s semifinals.
ATP Eastbourne Semifinals Predictions
Maxime Cressy vs Jack Draper
Head to Head: First Meeting
Maxime Cressy has a unique serve and volley style that suits the fast grass-courts. The American defeated top seed Cameron Norrie in the quarterfinals, and what has been particularly impressive has been the Cressy’s variety. Cressy is able to utilise the chip return, a highly effective shot on the low bouncing grass courts. As well as this, the American’s skill-set as the net enables him to play aggressively, taking time away from his opponent. As well as his excellent volleys, Cressy possesses a highly powerful first serve, and the American is able to hit his spots. It will be interesting to see how Cressy fares at the All-England Club.
Jack Draper is now ranked in the Top 100, and the Brit is rapidly rising up the rankings. Draper has the game top succeed on all surfaces and being a lefty could prove to be an advantage, especially his ability to serve out wide on the ad side. The Brit has firepower off both the forehand and backhand wings and also has the ability to finish points off at the net. Draper has reached the first of what surely will be many ATP Tour semifinals in his career. With the Brit already recording wins over the likes of Diego Schwartzman, Taylor Fritz and Ryan Peniston on the grass this season, this clearly shows that Draper is a player many will want to avoid facing at Wimbledon.
This promises to be an exciting match. Draper has not faced anyone of Cressy’s gamestyle during his career, so it will be intriguing to see how he adapts his game to cope with Cressy. I think it will go to three sets, with the American just getting the win.
Prediction: Cressy in 3
Alex De Minaur vs Taylor Fritz
Head to Head: 3-2 De Minaur
Alex De Minaur showed brilliant fight to come back from 1-4 in the deciding set of his quarterfinal match against Tommy Paul. Towards the end of the match, the Australian played near perfect tennis, showcasing his athletic ability and impressive volleys to overcome a 0-40 deficit when serving for the match. De Minaur has the ability to put his opponents in awkward positions on the court. The Australian has a consistent rally tempo, and rarely makes cheap unforced errors. The Australian is the defending champion, and has the potential to defend his title.
Taylor Fritz has enjoyed the best season of his career so far. The Indian Wells Champion has a powerful baseline game that is highly effective on grass. The American won the title in Eastbourne in 2019 and Fritz made light work of Alexander Bublik on Friday. Fritz has a first serve that will gain him a lot of free points. The serve combined with his forehand can [prove to be a lethal combination. As well as this, the American has improved his volleys and this adds variety to his game.
This should be a close match. De Minaur is a fine returner, and he will have a challenge in dealing with the Fritz serve. On the other hand, Fritz will have to remain patient and wait for his opportunity to strike in the rally. I think this will go to three sets, with Fritz just edging out the Australian.
Prediction: Fritz in 3
Main Photo from Getty.