Jack Draper hoping to follow Andy Murray career path after Queen’s Club exit

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Jack Draper hoping to follow Andy Murray career path after Queen’s Club exit
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Trying to measure the exact impact of Andy Murray on British tennis isn’t an easy task but Jack Draper wouldn’t be where he is today without the Murray effect.

Draper remembers starting to watch his fellow Brit from the moment he first properly picked up a tennis racket, and then transgressing from an avid fan to eventual hitting partner.

Now, the 20-year-old has aspirations to follow in the footsteps of the former world No1 on the court.

“I was able to watch him a lot at an early age,” Draper said. “I think he was in his prime when I was eight until 14 or whatever. Watching him and being able to see the lessons just from his game without knowing him was great.

“Then obviously I’ve had the chance to hit with him and get to know him during the last part of his career.

“I think for a young player like myself, having that sort of influence and being able to be around that on a daily basis and understand his habits and the way he lives his life in order to be a top player is key. It gives me a lot of lessons and a lot of confidence that I can hopefully go down the same path.”

Murray was two years older than Draper is now when he won his first title at Queen’s Club. The rising star of British men’s tennis has shone on both outings to date at the London club, knocking out No4 seed Taylor Fritz at this year’s Cinch Championships.

But yesterday the British No4 was unable to follow up on that result as he came unstuck in a 6-2, 7-6 defeat by Emil Ruusuvuori.

Jack Draper fell to Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland in the last-16 at Queen’s Club (PA)
Jack Draper fell to Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland in the last-16 at Queen’s Club (PA)

With one big win under his belt already on grass in 2022, Draper is confident he can make a mark at both Eastbourne next week and then Wimbledon before turning his attention back to the hard-court leg of the season.

Despite the defeat at Queen’s, he said: “It’s good for me to play these matches and I think I can take a lot from this week into Eastbourne and Wimbledon.

“I feel like I am always pretty hard on myself. But there’s positives I can take from this week, beating a top player like Fritz, and I can also take some lessons from this match which is going to help me moving forward for sure.”

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