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Draper wins his own epic encounter to reach final

By Eleanor Crooks

Jack Draper is one win away from becoming the first British boys' champion at Wimbledon for more than half a century after an epic semi-final victory over Colombia's Nicolas Mejia.

While John Isner and Kevin Anderson continued to toil away on Centre Court, Draper finally prevailed 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (6/8) 19-17 after four hours and 23 minutes on his 10th match point. He will face top seed Tseng Chun-hsin in the final on Sunday.

The last British boy to reach the singles final was Liam Broady in 2011 but there has not been a home winner since 1962, when Stanley Matthews Jr, son of the famous footballer, defeated Alex Metreveli.

A left-hander with a powerful serve and heavy topspin forehand, the 16-year-old also showed his qualities as a fighter in the last two rounds by coming from a set down each time.

Both times he lost the opener on a tie-break but this time it was Draper who came out on top against his 18-year-old opponent, sealing it with an excellent second serve.

He might have moved ahead early in the second set before withstanding pressure to force a tie-break, where he created a first match point, only to narrowly miss a backhand down the line and then double fault to allow Mejia to level.

The pair exchanged breaks at the start of the decider, but it was Draper who was looking the cooler overall.

He just could not finish off the match, though. He had chances across four separate Mejia service games without being able to convert, while the Colombian had five chances to break at 11-11, all of which were saved.

On and on they went, with Draper's frustration growing as more glimpses of the finish line arrived before retreating into the distance. But, at 18-17, he smashed away a desperate Mejia lob before falling onto the grass in delight and exhaustion.

He must now try to recover in time for his clash with Tseng, who will play his third slam final of the year, on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Britain's Alfie Hewett missed out on a place in the Wimbledon wheelchair singles final after losing to defending champion Stefan Olsson.

Olsson had won only two of their previous 10 meetings but the Swede is an accomplished player on grass.

He used his slice to good effect to come through 6-2 6-4.

Olsson will meet Argentina's Gustavo Fernandez in a repeat of last year's final after he beat Belgium's Joachim Gerard 6-1 4-6 6-2.

Hewett and partner Gordon Reid will get the defence of their doubles title under way later against Fernandez and Japan's Shingo Kunieda.

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