May 26, 2024

Jack Draper has shared insights into the influence of Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu’s achievements as he continues to operate somewhat unnoticed. The 21-year-old recently made it to his inaugural ATP Tour final in Sofia, bouncing back after missing Wimbledon due to a shoulder injury. With less scrutiny compared to his fellow countrymen, Draper has experienced a successful comeback following various physical setbacks earlier in the year.

Draper is concluding his 2023 season on a positive note, overcoming cramps and injuries to both his abdomen and shoulder that disrupted his early performance.

The British No 4 secured his fifth Challenger title in Bergamo and subsequently reached his first tour-level final, where he faced a defeat against Adian Mannarino in three sets at the Sofia Open. He is set to wrap up the year as part of Britain’s squad at the Davis Cup Finals.

Jack Draper takes belief from Emma Raducanu's rise as he targets Wimbledon  run

At the beginning of 2023, Draper achieved a career-high ranking of No 38 globally. However, his ranking suffered a setback after retiring from Indian Wells due to an abdominal problem and sustaining a shoulder injury during the French Open’s opening match. Despite missing the entire grass-court season, Draper made a successful return, climbing 21 spots in the rankings to reach No 61.

Draper acknowledges that he has been able to navigate his comeback with less attention compared to Murray and Raducanu, attributing this to their previous successes. He recognizes that his name may be known within the tennis community but is less familiar to the general public, especially in the UK, due to the prominence of Murray and Raducanu.

While the lack of attention may have inadvertently benefited Draper, he also acknowledges that his absence from the British grass-court summer season played a role. Having missed Wimbledon, he notes that many in the UK, who are not avid tennis fans, only tune in during events like Queen’s and Wimbledon.

Draper is now setting ambitious goals after a positive start following his shoulder injury, aiming to break into the top 20 in the world rankings next year. He emphasizes taking it week by week, focusing on hard work, fitness, and reaching more finals to achieve his targets.

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