Wimbledon 2022: Local lad Draper makes good his promise to make second round

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Jack Draper lives just down the road from Wimbledon and reached the second round for the first time this week (Reuters via Beat Media Group subscription)
Jack Draper lives just down the road from Wimbledon and reached the second round for the first time this week (Reuters via Beat Media Group subscription)

By Oli Dickson Jefford at Wimbledon

Jack Draper’s first win at Wimbledon is unlikely to be his last – and no one believes that more than the man himself.

Sutton’s Draper beat Belgian wildcard Zizou Bergs 6-4 6-4 7-6 (4) to reach the second round for the first time at the All England Club.

It was a classy display from the 20-year-old who has shown bags of potential over the past 12 months, with a recent move into the top 100 showcasing his progression.

Most notable today was his composure in the closing stages, saving three set points when serving at 5-6, some brave moves forward to the net scuppering Bergs’ quest to extend the contest.

“I felt like Zizou is someone who is quite a dangerous player. He’s someone I’ve known from the Challengers,” said Draper, who is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme – the highest level of support for players aged 16-24 –

“He’s quite flairy. He can play some incredible tennis, then he can play some quite loose tennis. Overall he’s a great competitor, a tough player to play against.

“I’m glad with the way I came through the match. This is my first Grand Slam on merit, main-draw win. I’m obviously very happy. These are all good new experiences for me and I’m glad to get the win.”

There’s no doubt that despite a relative lack of experience the 20-year-old, who now faces a tough second round test against 19th seed Alex de Minaur, believes a long, successful career awaits – and he’s not afraid of the hard graft needed to achieve just that.

He said: “It is pretty different out there, playing a five-set match, knowing that after you win the second, you still have a long way to go potentially.

“This is what I want to do. I want to have a great career, especially in Grand Slams. I know this is just a start, and hopefully I can keep on going from here.

“I’ve definitely been working with my team and my coach, trying to keep on improving that all the time. I think that’s our mentality, that every week, every day I’m improving.

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