Rising British star Jack Draper, 20, said watching Emma Raducanu win the US Open was inspiring as he is secretly hoping to pull off something similar in the near future. Raducanu, 19, made tennis history at Flushing Meadows last year as she became the first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam.
Raducanu was ranked around No. 150 in the world during last year’s US Open and she entered the top-30 following her stunning victory. “It was a big motivation to see Emma win. Inspired me for sure,” Draper told the ATP website.
“I think watching her do something special, made me think as someone in a tough place who was injured, I saw her do well and thought I could do that. Not to the same extent maybe as the women’s game is a bit younger, so you can do that a bit younger, but definitely shows you can go from a tough place to an incredible place quickly”.
Draper having a good season
Draper has won four Challenges titles in 2022 and he is sitting at a career-high ranking of No. 99 in the world. Next on Draper’s wish-list is to establish himself on the main level events and to start winning titles on the big stage.
“I think the biggest thing has been that I have stayed injury-free,” Draper said. “From 2019 I have barely been able to be on court and I have had quite a lot of bad injuries, so it is just about staying injury-free.
It has been important to get my training right, training smart and looking after my body more. I know I have the tennis level and mindset to go far. I like to play aggressively and on the front foot, especially when I am in full flow.
I have a big serve, big forehand and solid backhand. I have weapons really. It is just physically about where I am going to be”. In the Queen’s first round, Draper beat Taylor Fritz 6-3 6-2. It remains to be seen if Draper can win his maiden ATP title this week.