The 21-year-old Brit struggled with injuries during the 2023 season, but he was finally fit for the end of it, and it was palpable from the way he competed on the court.
First, Draper won his first title of the year at the ATP Challenger tournament in Bergamo, and after that, he entered the last ATP Tour-level tournament of the year, the 2023 Sofia Open.
After beating Maximilian Marterer, he had to face the top-seeded Lorenzo Musetti, but he easily overcame the challenge. After that, the Brit recorded two more wins to reach his maiden ATP Tour-level final.
In the final match, Draper took on an experienced Mannarino, who has already won two titles in 2023. Both players traded an early break in the opening set of the match, but proved to be too good on their serves after that as the opener reached a tie-break.
There were also no mini-breaks in the first 12 rallies of the tie-break, but after players changed the sides for the second time, Mannarino finally managed to steal a point from his opponent, winning the tie-break 8-6.
But Draper wanted to win his maiden title, and he showed his desire in the second set. Losing only three points on his serve, the British player broke his opponent's service twice, winning the second set 6-2.
But Mannarino once again showed his experience in the third set, breaking the 21-year-old in the sixth game of the set. Draper had two break points in the ninth game, but after he couldn't use those, the Frenchman won the match 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-3, winning his third title of the season at the 2023 Sofia Open.