Jack Draper calms expectations after Queen's victory over Carlos Alcaraz ahead of Wimbledon

Jack Draper calms expectations after Queen's victory over Carlos Alcaraz ahead of Wimbledon

A week ago, Jack Draper had never won an ATP Tour title, now he is favourite to double his tally in successive weekends.

The British No1 pulled off arguably the biggest win of his career yesterday in downing the defending Queen’s Club champion Carlos Alcaraz, also last year’s Wimbledon winner, 7-6, 6-3.

Draper leapt into the air in celebration with a clenched fist but insisted “I’m not going to get too high on this win” as he prepares to return to court in the third match on Centre Court against Tommy Paul later today.

When the 21-year-old first made his Queen’s debut, he said felt like an imposter. After beating Alcaraz, he now feels like he finally belongs among tennis’ elite.

Having won his rookie ATP title in Stuttgart before flying over to London on Monday, he said: “Getting over the line, you’d think first title, coming to London, I would feel maybe a bit more on edge, a bit more anxious, a bit more wanting to succeed, whereas I feel the opposite.

“I feel really calm and I think it’s because I proved to myself, I really do belong at this level and I can get through these tough moments against players like Alcaraz.

“It probably is the best win of my career. I’m building confidence the whole time. It’s helping me to feel like I belong.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Draper suffered an injury-plagued last season, which forced him out of the entirety of the grass-court swing last summer, which is arguably his best surface.

But he recovered in time to earn a wildcard to and subsequently win the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in London at the end of last year before his first ATP Tour title last weekend.

“Having to miss out on the grass really hurt,” he said. “But, at the same time, I was nowhere near ready.

“I was injured all over my body. I had shoulder problems, hip problems. My body was just made of glass at that point. Mentally, as well, I wouldn’t have been ready either.

“It was kind of a blessing in disguise because, ever since I came back from those injuries last year, since September I have been really putting in great work.

“And there is no place I’d rather be than here in London, here on the grass, playing in front of a home crowd. It feels amazing.”