Andy Murray and Jack Draper - Indian Wells 2023

Jack Draper can get ‘right to the top’ claims Andy Murray

Jack Draper is coming off the back of winning his first ATP Tour title and becoming British No.1, but Andy Murray believes that his compatriot ‘has bigger goals to aspire to’.

Draper won his maiden main tour title at the Stuttgart Open on Sunday, after beating former Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini in the final.

As a result, the 22-year-old has risen to a career-high ranking of world No.31 and become the youngest British No.1 since Andy Murray in 2009.

When speaking to media at Queen’s Club this week, Murray heaped praise on the player 15 years his junior and suggested that this is only the start for Draper.

“Jack, I think, has bigger goals to aspire to than being British No. 1,” claimed Murray. “In my opinion, he can get right up to the top of the game, right to the top of the world rankings.”

Murray continued, “He genuinely loves the sport. He is really into it, he works really hard and I think grass is a brilliant surface for him. I think he’ll do really well over the years on the surface.

“It’s amazing for him to win his first tournament and obviously I’m delighted for him. This year has been tricky for him and it could have looked a whole lot different as well, a lot more positive than it has been, because he’s lost a number of extremely close matches. You change a couple of those results and all of a sudden he’s up easily in the top 20 in the world. In my eyes, he’s definitely playing good enough to be right up there.”

When arriving in London, Draper was relaid these comments made by Murray and seemed very pleased, but also backed himself to achieve the things set out by the three-time major winner.

“It’s amazing to hear that from someone like Andy,” said Draper. “Being the No.1 Brit is a huge honour and a huge privilege, I know, but I hadn’t thought about that at all. My goal is to be one of the top players in the world.”

Both Draper and Murray will continue their grass seasons later today at the Queen’s Club, playing first round matches against Mariano Navone and Alexei Popyrin, respectively.

Inside the baseline…

What Jack Draper achieved last week in Stuttgart was fantastic, beating some very high quality grass court players in tight matches to claim his first ATP title. However, like Murray suggested it has felt inevitable that Draper would become British No.1 and it feels like the only way is up from here. It is great to see the relationship that Draper and Murray have, with it almost seeming like the 22-year-old looks up to the former world No.1 as a sort of mentor figure.

READ MORE – ATP Rankings (17/06/24): New British No.1 crowned, as another keeps falling

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.