Jack Draper gets biggest win of his career: so how good could he be?

·4 min read
Jack Draper at Canadian Open - Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP
Jack Draper at Canadian Open - Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Jack Draper recorded the biggest win of his fledgling career as he beat world No 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Canadian Open in Montreal.

Draper, 20, broke last year's French Open finalist in the 10th game of the first set and confidently held serve in the following game to win it 7-5.

He then fought back from a break down in the second set and forced a tiebreak which he came through with steely determination to complete an impressive 7-5, 7-6 (4) victory just before 1am local time.

This year has already been a tale of rapid progression for Draper: four titles on the ATP Challenger Tour, breaking into the top 100 and reaching the second round of Wimbledon. Beating Tsitsipas puts him further into the spotlight and raises hopes that he has the potential to go deep in the grand slams in coming years.

Does a second-round win at the Canadian Open really matter?

The Canadian Open is a Masters 1000 event, making it a good opportunity for players to earn significant ranking points. With this win, Draper is poised to move from his current position of 81 to a career-high 61.

It is Draper's best performance at a Masters tournament and he said the win shows that he belongs at the biggest events and can compete against the best players in the world.

"This is why I put in all the hard work, for nights like this on stages like this," the 20-year-old said. "Last week, me and my coach probably were thinking we weren't even going to come here. We were going to maybe train a week, get a bit of confidence. But it paid off coming.

"He's at the top of the game for a reason, someone I've looked up to the last few years. It's just good to be out here and try to express myself on this stage."

Jack Draper - Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images
Jack Draper - Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Can Draper make a mark at the US Open?

Draper is guaranteed to be in the main draw for the final grand slam of the year, which begins on August 29.

As it stands, the British No 4 will be unseeded but a run to the latter stages this week or at Cincinnati next week would propel him into the top 32.

It will be Draper's first appearance in New York and his results on hard courts this year suggest he is capable of making his mark.

How good can Draper become?

At Wimbledon 2021, Draper briefly threatened a major upset in the first round when he took the opening set against Novak Djokovic before ultimately losing in four sets but still earned the admiration of the great Serbian.

"He carried himself very maturely on the court, he behaved well, he backed himself, he believed that he could come back and I wish him all the best for the rest of his career," he said.

Jack Draper gets biggest win of his career: so how good could he be? - GETTY IMAGES
Jack Draper gets biggest win of his career: so how good could he be? - GETTY IMAGES

The son of former LTA chief executive Roger Draper, Jack has been highly rated since reaching the top 10 in the junior rankings.

At 6ft 4in and 85kg, he has the physical attributes to cope with the intense nature of the men's tour, he's also one of the few left-handed players on the circuit, giving him a tactical advantage and for a big man he has a lovely feel at the net.

Nevertheless, speaking to Telegraph Sport in April, Draper expressed the need for patience amid growing expectations.

"When I was a teenager I was always looking at guys like Felix Auger Aliassime [who is 16 months older] and thinking ‘I'm not doing that well.’ But I’ve learned that everyone has to go through their own journey. I’ve had a few injuries, but maybe they happened for a reason," he said.

"They’ve given me more time to mature, to get my head in the right place and get physically in better shape. When you're ready to do something, when you’re in a good place, that’s when it will happen."

So what's next for Draper?

Draper will face French veteran Gael Monfils on Thursday for a place in the quarter-finals. It will be the first meeting between the two players.

With only one member of the world's top eight left in the draw, a maiden Masters 1000 winner in Montreal is an increasing possibility and there's no reason why it couldn't be the Briton.