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.”
It was a first win for Draper in the main draw, but you sense it might not be the last.
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.
“On the grass I started off always trying to adapt. Last week I felt like I had a really good, positive week at Eastbourne.
“I come here confident. I’m ready to hopefully do some damage in this tournament. I believe in my ability – so let’s see how far I can go.”
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Photo: 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)