De Minaur battles into Eastbourne semis

Darren Walton and Ed ElliottAAP
Alex de Minaur chases down a ball in his Eastbourne International win over Tommy Paul.
Camera IconAlex de Minaur chases down a ball in his Eastbourne International win over Tommy Paul. Credit: AP

Alex de Minaur has continued his promising Wimbledon build-up with another run to the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International.

The Australian No.1 recovered from a service break down in the deciding set to score a 6-2 4-6 6-4 quarter-final win over American Tommy Paul on Thursday.

Hoping to successfully defend a title for the first time in his career, de Minaur will tackle Taylor Fritz for a place in the final after the American cruised past Alexander Bublik 6-3 6-2.

De Minaur, who holds a 3-2 career winning record over American Fritz, will be seeded 20th at Friday's Wimbledon draw.

The other semi-final at Eastbourne will feature British wildcard Jack Draper against US serve-volleyer Maxime Cressy.

Draper claimed his fiery temperament was similar to Andy Murray's after battling past countryman Ryan Peniston 6-3 6-3 in his quarter-final.

The 20-year-old's powerful performance at Devonshire Park was underpinned by aggression and fight.

Yet he repeatedly expressed agitation and chastised himself following mistakes, drawing comparisons with the demonstrative on-court behaviour of three-time grand slam winner Murray.

"It's tough; I've never been someone who's incredibly calm and composed and like ice on a tennis court," Draper said.

"That's the unique thing about tennis: everyone has a different mentality. Mine's a bit more fiery and therefore it's tough to be calm the whole time.

"If I was calm the whole time, I probably wouldn't get the best out of myself because that's just not who I am.

"Andy's got a similar personality, I guess.

"He's someone who loves competing, wants to win the whole time, and sometimes that brings out a little bit of anger here and there."

British men's No.1 Norrie was denied a maiden Eastbourne semi-final by a 7-5 7-5 defeat to world No.60 Cressy.

Having also knocked out Dan Evans, Cressy will be seeking a third successive British scalp on Friday.

With PA

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