Jack Draper relishing crowd energy and feels ‘lucky’ to play on big stages so young
Jack Draper is taking big moments in his stride after upsetting Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz on day one of the cinch Championships at Queen’s.
The Brit, 20, defeated his American opponent 6-3, 6-2 in a little over an hour on the same day he broke into the ATP top 100 for the very first time.
Moreover, today’s win was a first top 20 victory for Jack Draper, Fritz being ranked 14 in the world.
Draper said: “I have known for a while my level has been good enough to compete at the highest level.
“But there is one thing saying it and one thing getting wins at this level against players like Taylor.
“I’m really happy and it gives me a lot of confidence.”
Picking up where he left off 👀
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) June 13, 2022
The world number 99 added that the home helped carry him to the win.
He continued: “I always like playing in front of loads of people.
“Last year [at Queen’s], was very different.
“This year is more like what it was when I was a kid when I came here, always buzzing and a really good atmosphere.
“100% I can definitely use them, with my energy.
“I think [for an opponent] being up against a crowd, against the home player is always tough, so it’s definitely an advantage [for me].”
Finally, Draper talked about how like most players he always gets nervous before a match, but that he’s ready for that feeling.
He said: “I know that if I want to be a top player one day, these are the sort of things I have to deal with.
“So, it is a challenge but I am definitely taking it in my stride and looking forward to it and I think I deal with it really well.
“I’ve been lucky at an early age to have opportunities where I have been put in stadiums, against [Novak] Djokovic for instance (at Wimbledon last year).
“So it definitely really helps me and something I’m becoming more comfortable with.”
Draper and 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini were the only men to get a set off the eventual champion last summer.
🎾 Free >> Join our legendary newsletter
🎾 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine
🎾 Watch >> How to enjoy ATP/WTA/Slam tennis on TV