ANDY MURRAY AND CARLOS ALCARAZ BACK BRITISH WONDERKID TO REACH WORLD NO 1

Jack Draper has insisted becoming British No.1 is only a stepping stone to bigger prizes in his career.

The new world No.31 won the first ATP Tour title at the Boss Open on Sunday and is now set to be seeded at Wimbledon.

Draper, 22, is the youngest top-ranked British male since Andy Murray in 2009.

The Scot, who went on to win three Grand Slam titles, offered his congratulations but added: "I think he has bigger goals to aspire to than being in the British No.1. In my opinion he can get up to the top of the game, to the top of the world rankings."

Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz added: "I think he's gonna reach wherever he wants."

Draper had no time to celebrate his double achievement and flew to London to prepare for his opening match against Argentine Mariano Navone at the Cinch Championships today. (tues)

"Tennis is a relentless sport," he said. "I will reflect on it at some point, but for now it's just full focus on being here and hopefully doing well."

And the 6'4" star is not shy in stating he wants to go even higher in the rankings.

"It's amazing to hear that from someone like Andy or Carlos," he said. "Being No. 1 Brit, it's a huge honour and it's a huge privilege, I know, but I hadn't thought about that at all. My goal is to honestly be one of the top players in the world. That's sort of been what I have wanted.

"I think by winning a title last week, it kind of helps me to sort of believe more and more, because it's been tough and I have been close a few times and not quite getting it over the line. I think it really changes my belief system a little bit as to what I can achieve."

Draper has gone from feeling lost at the French Open to a potential worldbeater in only three weeks. He added former world No.6 Wayne Ferreira to his coaching team to add more aggression to his game but he struggled initially with the change in mentality and tactics.

"I think it's been tough, because the way I have won matches historically is by outgrinding players and by being tough to beat," he said. "That's got me to 40 in the world.

"It was just a moment where I was like: 'I need to change', and I really, really have the mindset of wanting to play like a 6'4" big-serving player. And whether that is taking more risks and maybe missing a few more shots than I would usually do.

"I didn't know it was going to come together like it did last week. I was making lots of errors in practice. I was trying to do things that I had never done before in a tennis court.

"That kind of showed when I was in Geneva and the French Open. I was all over the place. I was very lost on the court.

"So when I got home, I really thought to myself, I need to just fully commit to this. I think obviously the grass helps to sort of let that come a bit quicker, as well.

"I didn't know it was going to come together like it has, but I feel incredibly confident. I'm happy with the approach I'm taking. I think that kind of showed last week."

2024-06-17T16:06:07Z dg43tfdfdgfd