2024 Queen's Club Championships Friday Schedule and Preview: Jack Draper and Tommy Paul set for stellar clash, Fritz holds onto favorite status

Thursday, 20 June 2024 at 22:30
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The quarter-finals of the ATP 500 Queen’s Club Championships are set to begin after a week marked by rain and several suspensions.  With early exits from top favorites like Carlos Alcaraz, Alex De Minaur, and Grigor Dimitrov, the draw remains open, leaving Americans Tommy Paul and Taylor Fritz as the only seeded players still in contention.
The quarter-finals will be played entirely on Thursday at Queen’s Club's Center Court, starting with 4th seed Taylor Fritz (No. 12). The American, the highest-ranked player left in the draw, has not dropped a set in previous rounds against Milos Raonic and Taro Daniel.

Fritz and Musetti Aim to Advance

Fritz has notable grass-court achievements, including winning the 2019 Eastbourne International and reaching the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2022. However, he has struggled with the surface overall, holding just a 54% win rate on grass courts. The former Indian Wells champion will face Jordan Thompson (No. 43), who surprised Holger Rune (No. 15) in the first round and advanced quickly after Andy Murray (No. 114) retired in the first set of their match.
Following the Fritz-Thompson match, local wildcard Billy Harris (No. 162) will take the court. The Brit recently received a wildcard for Wimbledon and has been a surprise at Queen’s, securing consecutive wins against Tomas Martin Etcheverry (No. 31) and Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard (No. 59).
At 29 years old, Harris had only two matches at the ATP Tour level before this tournament, but he has managed to secure two consecutive wins, marking his first quarter-final appearance. His opponent will be Lorenzo Musetti (No. 30), a young Italian who has had a strong grass-court swing with five wins and one loss.
Last week, Musetti reached the semi-finals at the Stuttgart Open (losing to Matteo Berrettini) and began this week confidently, defeating second seed Alex De Minaur (No. 7). In Thursday's round of 16, he overcame Brandon Nakashima (No. 63), both victories coming in three sets.
Taylor Fritz at the 2024 Madrid Open.

Stellar clash between Draper and Paul, Korda seeks semi-finals

The day continues with British No. 1 Jack Draper (No. 31), who aims to maintain his excellent form against 5th seed Tommy Paul (No. 13). The 22-years-old local Jack Draper has seven consecutive wins in this grass-court swing and recently achieved his best victory as a professional against world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz.
A week ago, Draper claimed his first professional title at the Stuttgart Open and appears to be the man to beat in the grass-court season. Draper delivered an outstanding performance against Alcaraz, particularly in his serving, winning 80% of points on his first serve and 78% on his second serve.
The Draper-Paul rivalry will see its fifth match, with the British player leading their head-to-head 3-1. They faced each other three times in the first two months of 2024, with Draper winning their most recent encounter at the Acapulco Open with a decisive 6-0, 6-4 scoreline.
Paul, meanwhile, has shown he can adapt well to grass. The American eliminated South Americans Sebastian Baez (No. 19) and Alejandro Tabilo (No. 24), though he has yet to face a grass-court specialist like Draper. Against Tabilo, Paul won 83% of his service points, proving unbreakable for the Chilean.
The winner of the Draper-Paul match will face either Sebastian Korda (No. 32) or qualifier Rinky Hijikata (No. 98). The American reached the final of the Libema Open s’Hertogenbosch last week but finished as the runner-up to Alex De Minaur.
Korda has been more consistent in recent months, though he hadn’t made a deep run in a tournament until last week. With renewed confidence, he secured two significant victories against Karen Khachanov (No. 16) and third seed Grigor Dimitrov (No. 10).
Hijikata, the only qualifier remaining, advanced past the first round after Frances Tiafoe withdrew in the third set due to an injury. In the round of 16, Hijikata proved his worth by defeating Matteo Arnaldi (No. 79) in two tie-break sets. The world No. 98 has a chance to reach his highest-ever ranking if he wins, potentially moving up to No. 63. The Australian has not faced Korda before.

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