Meet Jack Draper: British Tennis’ Rising Star

Jannik Sinner Queen's Club
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Jack Draper stunned third seed Jannick Sinner in the first round of the Queen’s Club Championships. The Brit had a wild card into the main draw. Draper was the runner-up in 2018 at the Junior Wimbledon Championship.

Who is Jack Draper?

Jack Draper is a 19-year-old tennis player born and raised in London. The youngster has mostly been on the ITF circuit. Draper has a superb win-loss record at the lower level events, building his way up to the main tour.

Draper is the current British No. 7. The 19-year-old had a superb 2019. The Brit claimed three titles that year, all at the ITF Futures level. Draper was sitting well with a 41-17 win-loss record. As the events were Futures, the surfaces were mainly hard or indoor.

Before the pandemic hit, the youngster started 2020 the way he left off the previous season. Draper claimed his first title of the year at ITF Sunderland. The Brit was the third seed and in the final defeated Igor Sijsling in straight sets. Draper only lost two games in the final.

The 19-year-old did not drop a set the whole event in Sunderland. Before that event, Draper made the final in Glasgow. The Brit dominated the first set before being ultimately defeated by Lucas Poullain.

2021 Season

Draper started the current season by making the step up to Challenger circuit. The first two events saw him progress no further than the first round of the main draw. The Brit dropped back to the Futures circuit and made the quarterfinal.

The young Brit was rewarded for his hard work by being given a wild card into his first ATP Tour event, the Miami Masters. Against Mikhail Kukushkin, Draper was holding his own and nearly forced a tiebreak in the first set. Unfortunately, after Kukushkin had taken the set, the 19-year-old suffered from heat exhaustion and had to retire from the match.

Following on, the Brit returned home and took part in the U.K. Pro Series in early April before returning to the Futures tour. Draper made the final of the ITF event in Prague where the Brit was defeated by Manuel Guinard.

All of these performances impressed the tournament director at The Queen’s Club. Young Draper was awarded a wild card and drew World No. 23 Sinner. Draper started badly and was 0-4 down. However, the Brit dug deep and forced a tiebreak and took the set. The 19-year-old then took the second set, also on a tiebreak.

Another Brit won their first ATP match at Queen’s at around the same age. That player? The one and only Sir Andy Murray in 2005. Murray progressed to the third round before cramping and twisting his ankle, losing in three sets.

Draper is one to watch, one for the future. Certainly one for the future of British Tennis. Draper should be nurtured and hopefully shielded from the same media pressure that Murray was and is still subjected to.

Draper should receive a wild card to the Championships at Wimbledon this year.

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