Draper 'Contemplated' Quitting Tennis And Going To University Due To Chronic Hip Injury

Draper 'Contemplated' Quitting Tennis And Going To University Due To Chronic Hip Injury

by Nurein Ahmed

Jack Draper recently shared about a tumultuous period when his life was at a crossroads, and he nearly quit tennis because of injuries.

Draper is one of the most talented young players to emerge from Great Britain's tennis setup. Some analysts believe he might be the next Andy Murray, the last British man to win a Grand Slam.

The 21-year-old's ability to powder any ball with power and precision earned him plenty of praise from the tennis world, including his fellow players. Andrey Rublev handpicked him among the next first-time ATP champions in 2024.

Holger Rune believes Draper has "huge potential". Before his opening match against Rafael Nadal at the 2023 Australian Open, the Spaniard referred to the Briton as a "young and powerful" player growing quickly.

And Nadal was right. Draper arrived in Melbourne in January 2023 after a career-best season on the Challenger Tour, during which he won four titles. He was then ranked No. 38 in the ATP rankings - his personal best.

But after a gallant effort in which Draper lost in four sets to the 22-time Grand Slam champion, he did not play for another two months. Upon his return, he retired from Indian Wells and Roland Garros and missed the entire grass-court season.

In an interview with the Guardian, Draper recounts a period during the pandemic and, most recently, last summer, when he battled a hip injury that pushed him close to retiring. He thought long and hard about how his life would be without a racket before deciding against it.

"I had this chronic hip thing and I thought of stopping again. Am I going to be able to really do this?’ I really contemplated what my life would be if I didn’t have tennis, honestly. Since that moment, I’ve really realised what I want again and realised that this is something that I’m capable of achieving."

Draper is of the idea that getting to the top level is an attainable target. His biggest obstacle is that his body has broken down more times than he would have imagined.

This year, he reached his second ATP final in Adelaide, losing to Jiri Lehcka. As he prepares for his Italian Open debut later on Thursday, the 21-year-old has added former South African pro Wayne Ferrerira to his coaching team. He believes he has the plan and program to become a durable athlete.

"I’ve worked really hard to get my body in a good place. I think even though the results have been decent, the big result is my body, how I’m able to keep playing every week and not break down. Touch wood. I think that’s the most important thing and I keep giving myself a chance, I’m only going to grow more and more in confidence."


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