How Jack Draper Emulated A Feat Last Achieved By His Childhood Idol Andy Murray

How Jack Draper Emulated A Feat Last Achieved By His Childhood Idol Andy Murray

by Nurein Ahmed

Saturday was a landmark day for Jack Draper, who broke new ground on the ATP Tour by reaching his first ATP final at the Sofia Open.

Draper fell short in his title quest, losing to the in-form and experienced 35-year-old Adrian Mannarino in three highly engrossing sets. But he's not going to leave Bulgaria's capital emptyhanded.

Aside from a runner-up trophy, the 21-year-old from Sutton will climb 21 spots and inside the Top 70 (up to 61 in the live rankings). This is a significant improvement by Draper who fell outside the world's Top 100 in August after missing a combined four and half months of the season due to injuries.

Additionally, Draper became the youngest British man to reach an ATP final since 2009 where his childhood hero Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic to win the Miami Masters. Murray was 21 at the time, the same age as Draper who reached the final in Sofia this weekend.

Draper still has a gargantuan mountain to climb to achieve even half of Murray's career accomplishments, but it is worth noting the huge strides he's taken so far considering his travails with injuries. The lefty regards the Scotsman as the yardstick to whatever he wants to achieve in tennis and he was "proud" to level up on this one record.

"Obviously I am very proud. Andy is an amazing player. I hope one day I can do what he's done in the sport but it's a long way to go and I'll keep trying."

Draper's runner-up finish in Sofia came hot on the heels of an ATP Challenger title in Bergamo in the first week of November. It was the first title at any level that he had won in a very turbulent year. The Challenger is a level that he has dominated every time he plays. In 72 matches there, he has compiled five titles.


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