Jack Draper faces a tough battle to beat Andrey Rublev in US Open fourth round

Jack Draper is the last Briton remaining in the singles at the US Open
Jack Draper is the last Briton remaining in the singles at the US Open (Picture: TPN/Getty Images)

Jack Draper knows what it’s like to feel that Christmas has come early.

Born on December 22, 2001, he enjoys a week of celebrations at the end of every year.

Now he has the chance to experience similar elation when he battles Andrey Rublev in the fourth round of the men’s singles at the US Open.

Reaching this stage of a grand slam for the first time means the British No.5 has already banked a cool £225,000 and if he defeats Russia’s world No.8 to reach the quarter-finals that fantastic figure will leap to a whopping £361,000.

Draper’s previous best performance at a grand slam was when he made the third round at Flushing Meadows last year so he clearly relishes being an Englishman in New York.

The 21-year-old left-hander is as tall and imposing on court as a Manhattan skyscraper, standing at 6ft 4in tall and booming a thunderous serve across the net which even the best opponents struggle to deal with.

Just ask 17th seed Hubert Herkacz and first-round victim Radu Albot, who were both blown away in straight sets.

American Michael Mmoh will verify their testimonies as he was unable to use the partisan support of 8,000 boisterous New Yorkers to undermine the unflappable 21-year-old left-hander.

Mmoh did manage to take a set off Draper but was still overwhelmed in a blistering 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 demolition job.

Draper, though, is very much the underdog against Rublev, who has won 14 ATP Tour singles titles while making three trips to the ATP Tour finals before his 26th birthday.

Draper is 9/4 with Betfred and Sky Bet to register the biggest win of a career primed to take off into orbit over the next few years if he can stay healthy.

But we can’t let our hearts rule our heads when it comes to putting hard cash on the line and Rublev should match his career best in Queens by reaching the last eight for the fourth time.

Andrey Rublev has already reached two grand slam quarter-finals this year
Andrey Rublev has already reached two grand-slam quarter-finals this year (Picture: Getty Images)

The Muscovite has reached eight grand-slam quarter-finals in total, including Wimbledon and the Australian Open earlier this year, and it would be a shock, albeit an enjoyable one, if he does not prevail.

Draper can take a set off him, however, and a 3-1 Rublev victory appeals at 3/1 with Coral and Ladbrokes.

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