Misc Tennis

UK No.1 Draper Says Missing Wimbledon Last Year Was Blessing in Disguise

UK No.1 Draper Says Missing Wimbledon Last Year Was Blessing in Disguise

By Erik Gudris | @atntennis | Sunday, June 30, 2024

What a difference a year makes.

For the UK’s Jack Draper that’s certainly the case. This time last year, he was forced to miss Wimbledon due to injury. But he feels that was a blessing in disguise as he now finds himself seeded for the first time at the All-England Club.

The 22-year-old Draper spoke to the media ahead of this year’s Championships where he is the No. 28 men’s seed. His seeding culminates a breakthrough several weeks that includes winning his maiden ATP title in Stuttgart and then upsetting reigning Wimbledon and Roland Garros champion Carlos Alcaraz at Queen’s Club.

Draper says seeing Alcaraz win Wimbledon at such a young age last year was highly motivating for him.

MORE: Djokovic on Wimbledon – “Why Not Give It a Shot?”

“Yeah, I mean, it was really difficult. I obviously didn’t just miss this one. I missed Queen’s, the whole grass. I think I sat on my couch for most of it, just kind of really frustrated, watching all the matches,” Draper said about missing Wimbledon last year.

“Obviously watched the full final, which was hard to watch obviously someone so young winning the title, showing what he’s capable of. It really, really motivated me and was actually I think a blessing in disguise because my body wasn’t ready. I don’t think mentally I was ready either to be a top player. It was a good sort of break that I needed to sort of rediscover the fire I needed. From there, I’ve been great.”

After his injury last year forced him on the sidelines, and caused his ranking to drop out the top 100, Draper worked to improve his fitness and overall game. He also added acclaimed coach and former player Wayne Ferreira to his team for added counsel after Miami.

So far, it has proven a winning combination with Draper now at a career high No. 28 ranking.

“We’ve kind of been on a journey since then. It’s been great. He hasn’t really spoke to me loads the last few weeks about different things because we’re in tournament mode. I suppose that will be for maybe after the grass and leading into the U.S. But I think in general, I don’t know, just trying to make my game a more aggressive baseliner instead of someone who sort of makes a lot of balls and waits for the other players to miss,” Draper said about working with Ferreira, who…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Blog RSS…