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Home > Jack Draper Reaches Second Round At Wimbledon After Surviving Five-Set Test – Reaction

Jack Draper Reaches Second Round At Wimbledon After Surviving Five-Set Test – Reaction

Jack Draper insists he is ready to inherit Andy Murray’s mantle and become the next star of British men’s tennis as he prepares to open his Wimbledon campaign.

The British No 1 enters this year’s Championships high on confidence after a breakthrough couple of weeks that saw him land his maiden ATP title with victory at the Stuttgart Open before a sensational win over Spanish giant Carlos Alcaraz at Queen’s.

Given his exploits in recent weeks, the Sutton native has been tipped for a deep run at the All England Club, where he has been seeded at a slam for the first time in his career, at 28th.

While this year’s Wimbledon will be Murray’s last ahead of his pending retirement, Draper insists he is ready to take on the mantle as the next golden boy of British tennis.

“That is exactly what I want to do, I want to take over from Andy’s legacy,” said Draper, who faces Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer in his first-round match. “What he did for British tennis – I don’t see why there is no reason why I can’t – especially if I get on working hard, doing the right things, keeping the right people around me, improving the way I have as well. I am taking one match at a time, one day at a time. As Andy said, ‘focus on the process not the outcome.’”

Draper announced himself as one of British tennis’ most exciting prospects when he took a set off Novak Djokovic in his maiden Wimbledon three years ago. At that time, he was a lowly world 253.

The 22-year-old’s sensational triumph over Spanish star Alcaraz in the second round at Queen’s – where he disarmed the three-time grand slam champion with his thunderous serve – marked the biggest triumph of his young career after an injury-hit 2023.

It means Draper will have something of a target on his back at Wimbledon but he has learned how to win in the big moments after falling short in back-to-back ATP finals earlier on in the season.

He lost his first ATP final at the Sofia Open last November after being beaten by Adrian Mannarino, before enduring a similar fate at the Adelaide International in January this year.

Both experiences, however, handed him a psychological boost and primed him for his Stuttgart success, where he got the better of former Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini in the final.

“Winning my first title after making two finals was a huge thing for me, to have that title next to your name definitely gave me a lot of inner belief but also helped me to feel a bit calmer, less of an imposter I suppose,” said Draper.

“To be a top player you do have to win tournaments. So, coming into Queens, I knew that I would have an incredibly tough match against Alcaraz but I had the belief that I was playing at a top level after beating Berrettini and beating these other players.”

Off the court, Draper has earned a reputation for his modelling work – he was splashed across the pages of Vogue in the wake of his Stuttgart Open win and is a model with IMG – but vowed his extra-curricular hobby would not be a distraction as he sets his sights on emulating Murray.

“I want to be an amazing player, I want to be one of the top players in the world and I know that what comes with that is a lot of attention and opportunity to build a brand as a player on and off the court,” he said. “My main focus and thing has always been the tennis. Nothing will change that.”