Jack Draper earns lavish praise from Great Britain’s old hands
Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie and Daniel Evans have heaped praise on up-and-coming British player Jack Draper.
Draper downed Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime to ensure he will break into the top 50 next week thanks to gaining the third round in his debut US Open.
Murray has followed the career of the young man closely and says his achievements in 2022 are that much more impressive given the break from the game he was forced to take during the pandemic.
“He’s always had lots of potential,” Murray told ATPTour.com. “A lot of ability.
“For 20, he’s actually quite a young 20-year-old as well,” Murray said. “[There were] six months of the pandemic when he didn’t get to compete… Although he’s 20, he’s not competed loads in the past few years, but he’s a top player.”
Murray believes that Draper just needs top continue to polish his game and make sure he balances out all the elements needed to be a top ATP Tour professional.
“At that stage, I don’t think there is just one thing [he has to focus on]. I think it’s the total package. You should be spending time working on the physical side, you should be spending time working on improving your game,” Murray said.
“[You need to work on] the mental side and dealing with the distractions and maybe a little bit more pressure that will come in the next period as well and just learning how to deal with those things. It’s important.
“For me there isn’t one that’s more important than the other at that age. It’s just all about developing and progressing all parts of your game, becoming more professional, eating better, sleeping better, training better. All those things.”
Draper has won five of his eight matches against top 20 opponents this season and Evans believes his success should come as no surprise.
“I think he’s obviously very grounded, he’s had good people around him for quite a long time. I know his current coach, [James Trotman], is a very ‘never too high, never too low’ sort of guy and that obviously really helps in big moments,” Evans said.
“He obviously has a massive game and it’s no real surprise that once he’s put it all together, he’s been very effective on the Tour.”
Norrie is also delighted to see that Draper has matured very quickly and has shown signs of becoming a model professional and the perfect player to be the poster boy for British tennis.
“I knew he had a big game and he was a big kid already, and I immediately got on well with him and could see how competitive he was. For me, what he’s done is not a surprise at all and I’m just glad he’s really professional now, he’s taking care of everything and he’s winning some big matches and playing his best tennis in those big matches,” Norrie said.
“[I] have a lot of respect for the guy, I really love his game and I’ve practised a lot with him in London. He knows my game pretty well and we’re also pretty good friends… It’s really great seeing him do well, especially in big tournaments.”
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