What to expect from a new-look Wimbledon
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Novak Djokovic sailed through to the second round of Wimbledon, but Jack Draper has now announced himself on the global stage with signs that he may well live up to Greg Rusedski’s high expectations. Draper, 19, has only just broke out into the ATP Tour main singles draw, having made his debut at the Miami Open earlier this year.
He was forced to withdraw due to heat exhaustion on that occasion, but began to make a name for himself at Queen’s earlier this month.
He defeated No 3 seed Jannik Sinner before progressing to the third round where he lost to eventual finalist Cameron Norrie.
His performances in 2021 saw Draper given a wildcard into the main draw at Wimbledon and he was handed the biggest test of his young life in matching up against Djokovic.
And former British No 1 Rusedski spoke after Queen’s that he felt Draper was showing signs that he could be the countries brightest prospect since Andy Murray.
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“He looks the heir apparent [to Murray],” Rusedski said. “It’s going to be very interesting to see Jack against the best player on the planet, see how his game holds up.
“It’s an amazing experience to play the defending champion in the opening match of the Championships.”
The teenager admitted after the draw was made that it was a bit surreal preparing to face the world No 1.
And he would have been forgiven for feeling some nerves coming out onto Centre Court for the first match at Wimbledon’s biggest arena since 2019.
But Draper appeared to excel under the extreme pressure, putting Djokovic on the back foot with some impressive play.
His monstrous serve was causing Djokovic all kinds of problems, but Draper’s defensive play was also standing up against the 19-time Grand Slam champion.
Draper managed to save an impressive seven break points in the opening set and got an early break of his own early on.
Djokovic was unable to find a way back into the set as Draper shocked the crowd inside Centre Court to take a one-set lead.
Going down one set appeared to give Djokovic the inspiration he needed to push up another level and he ended up taking the match with ease in the following three sets.
But Draper has certainly announced himself among the British public now, who will no doubt be looking out for his results in the future.
Draper being the ‘next Andy Murray’ may take a bit more than taking one set off Djokovic, but the signs were there that he can certainly take on the mantle.
The similarities are there for sure as Murray was also 19 years of age when he picked up the biggest result of his career at Wimbledon.
The Scottish tennis icon beat No 3 seed Andy Roddick in the third round before being knocked out by Marcos Baghdatis.
Now Draper will be looking to build on his impressive show at Wimbledon with a potential eye on the US Open.
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