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HomeSportEmma Raducanu and Carlos Alcaraz 'motivating' Jack Draper for Wimbledon success

Emma Raducanu and Carlos Alcaraz 'motivating' Jack Draper for Wimbledon success

Jack Draper has credited Emma Raducanu for motivating him to get to an “incredible place” with the 20-year-old set to play his second Wimbledon main draw. The Brit broke the world’s top 100 and got his first top 15 win on Monday, and has also cited fellow Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz as a “benchmark”.

Draper is set to face Emil Ruusuvuori in the second round at Queen’s on Wednesday after earning the biggest win of his career over world No 14 Taylor Fritz in the opening round on Monday, the same day he reached a career-high of world No 99. He will then go onto Wimbledon for his second main draw appearance at the All England Club, having taken the first set off of eventual-champion Novak Djokovic in his debut last year.

The Sutton native has credited fellow Brit Raducanu for serving as motivation following her run to the second week of Wimbledon as the 338th-ranked wildcard last year, and her unprecedented US Open win that saw her become the first qualifier ever to lift a Major title. “It was a big motivation to see Emma win. Inspired me for sure,” the British No 4 told the ATP.

“I think watching her do something special, made me think as someone in a tough place who was injured, I saw her do well and thought I could do that. Not to the same extent maybe as the women’s game is a bit younger, so you can do that a bit younger, but definitely shows you can go from a tough place to an incredible place quickly.”

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As two players in the 21-and-under age group, both Alcaraz and Draper are classed as the ATP’s ‘Next Gens’ and are in the race to the Next Gen Finals, held in Milan. The world No 7 won the tournament last year and sits in the top spot to qualify again but will likely skip the event this year as he is also second in the race to the ATP Finals in Turin.

Draper has never competed at the Next Gen event and is sixth in the race, with the top seven qualifying and the eighth player getting a wildcard spot, but he is trying not to think about the race to Milan. “I know about the race, but I haven’t paid too much attention to it, because even though I am high up now, there are players who are in the top 50 and top 100 who have access to ATP Tour events where points are higher. I am not getting my hopes up because there are a lot of extremely good young players coming through,” he said.



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