Jack Draper Becomes Youngest Brit in 14 Years to Reach ATP Tour Final
21-Year-Old Defeats Jan-Lennard Struff at Sofia Open
Britain’s rising tennis star, Jack Draper, has made history by becoming the youngest British player in 14 years to reach an ATP Tour final. The 21-year-old secured his spot in the final after defeating Jan-Lennard Struff with a commanding 6-3, 6-4 victory at the Sofia Open.
Draper’s achievement is reminiscent of tennis legend Andy Murray, who last reached a final on the men’s circuit in 2009. With this remarkable feat, Draper has firmly established himself as a promising talent in British tennis.
Just days after triumphing at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Italy, Draper will now face Adrian Mannarino in the final on Saturday. Mannarino secured his place in the final by defeating Pavel Kotov 6-2, 7-6(2) in the other semi-final.
Reflecting on his accomplishment, Draper expressed his pride and admiration for Andy Murray, stating, “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 journey in professional tennis began in 2021 when he joined the ATP Tour. He received a wild card entry for Wimbledon, where he impressed by taking the first set off defending champion Novak Djokovic before ultimately losing in four sets.
In 2022, Draper clinched his first Challenger event title and broke into the top 100 on the ATP rankings in June of that year. He earned a direct entry into Wimbledon and secured his first Grand Slam match victory. Later in the summer, Draper made waves by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas and reaching the quarter-finals of the Canadian Open, marking his first appearance in the last eight of an ATP 1000 tournament.
Continuing his impressive run, Draper reached the fourth round of the US Open by defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets. He also qualified for the NextGen ATP Finals, an exclusive end-of-season event for the top eight highest-ranked players aged 21 or under.
Despite facing injury setbacks during the 2023 season, Draper made a strong comeback at the US Open, advancing to the second week of the Grand Slam with victories over Radu Albot, 17th seed Hubert Hurkacz, and Michael Mmoh.
Following his success at Flushing Meadows, Draper continued to impress with another appearance in a Challenger final at the Open d’Orleans, propelling him back into the world’s top 100. He secured his fifth Challenger title at the Trofeo Faip-Perrel in early November.
With his remarkable talent and determination, Jack Draper is set to play a key role for Great Britain at the upcoming Davis Cup later this month. Tennis enthusiasts eagerly await his future performances as he continues to make waves in the sport.