There is a new generation of tennis stars in the wake of seasoned pros. Young, energetic and incredibly talented, this group of British sportsmen is making headlines worldwide.
Among these names is Jack Draper, who rose to fame in 2018 as a junior Grand Slam runner-up at the Wimbledon Championships. Since then, he has competed in a variety of tournaments around the world and was the youngest ATP quarter-final at the Queens Club Championships since Andy Murray in 2006. His impressive efforts have led him to 55 in singles world. this month .
At just 20, he is now competing in his first ever US Open tournament. We told him about his training plans, career goals and how his collaboration with Vodafone is making tennis more accessible.
What are you doing right now?
I am currently in North Carolina, USA, playing a tournament in Winston Salem before going to New York to play my first US Open. It’s been my biggest time traveling and playing away from home, but it’s a great experience for me and I feel good right now. Having the right preparation before a Grand Slam is essential and I have taken a lot of confidence from a really positive week at the ATP1000 in Montreal.
What are your training essentials?
Of course, my Dunlop racquets are very important, I always like to have cool grips too, and I generally train with a back cap. You also need to make sure you have plenty of fuel on board and then, once you’re done with your workout, get some food or a jolt quickly.
What are your favorites sportswear brands?
In addition to Dunlop, his Nike through and through. I have loved the brand from a young age and continue to admire the work they do in both tennis and other sports. They are my clothing and shoe companions and I love every time I get my next kit delivery.
How do you prepare yourself before a game?
I make sure I eat and drink the right things to make sure I’m physically prepared. In terms of pre-match, I usually try to stay pretty relaxed, listen to some music, play on the phone and relax. My coach James Trottman (Trots) has a calming influence, so he helps.
How do you relax and unwind in your free time?
Spend time with my family, friends and my dog called Aussie. The tour runs 11 of the 12 months of the year, so it’s really important to relax and unwind whenever possible.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Still playing tennis (!), Seeing the likes of Rafa, Andy, Novak in the mid 30’s and still playing high quality tennis inspires me even more to keep pushing myself to be the best player I can – tournament after tournament, year after year. I am really excited about what will happen in the future.
You’re stuck on a desert island – which book, music album and item would you take with you?
Good Vibes, Good Life by Vex King. Oasis: Good Morning Glory Album and a hat for when my hair gets too long.
Advice for budding tennis players?
Keep working hard, there will be ups and downs, but keep following it. It’s a great game and I’ve learned so many lessons about it both on and off the pitch.
Why did you decide to become a Vodafone ambassador?
Inspiring the next generation of kids to do what they love, on or off the pitch, is really important to me. For me, Vodafone has been a truly intuitive partnership, not only for the connectivity and for allowing me to talk to my friends and family when and where I am, but also for what they are doing with Wimbledon and LTA with ‘Play. Your Way to Wimbledon ‘, we both share the same mission to open the sport to the masses and inspire the next generation, so I’m proud to be their ambassador. I mean, how great is it for young players to have the opportunity to compete on Wimbledon’s famous turf courts?