“This format is perfect”: Draper reflects on his brilliant start in UTS

After winning the first three matches of his UTS career, Jack Draper shares about his success in the format so far

Jack Draper UTS Grand Final 2023

Two days ago, Jack “The Power” Draper had never played a UTS match.

Now, he’s into the Final Four of the UTS Grand Final in London, and is looking like one of the players to beat this Sunday. With an undefeated 3-0 record across Group B action, the Brit has only dropped one quarter in his three matches, with the 21-year-old taking to the format like a duck to water this weekend.

“I don’t try to play any different here to how I play normally,” Draper shared after qualifying for the Final Four on day two of the UTS Grand Final.

Draper unpacks his UTS success in London

One of the trademarks of Draper’s UTS success over the past two days has been his brilliant serving stats. The Power has won more than 60 per cent of his service points this weekend, a rarity in a format that only allows one serve as opposed to the usual two on the ATP Tour.

“Just try and be alert, ready for the ball, because obviously the ball’s going to come back quick,” Draper explained, detailing how he’s had so much success on serve. “Guys want to step in on the return, especially someone like Gael, trying to take the ball early. I was just sharp after my serve to get in the position to hit the next ball.”

The Brit goes on to unpack the background to his strong form at the UTS Grand Final, explaining that it’s the culmination of some good work he’s been putting in this season so far.

“I’m just really happy to play in London, I put in a really good amount of work in the off season. And also, this is on the back of building up some really good form since the grass court season. I feel really strong, really great, my team is great, everything seems to be ticking along well.”

Big-hitting Draper enjoying format, optimistic for Final Four

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s play, Draper is optimistic about his chances of making a deep run at the UTS Grand Final.

“I believe in my game, I believe in my coach on the side of the court,” Draper exhorted on Saturday. “I’m trying to work on being more aggressive, that’s where I think men’s tennis is going.”

The Brit has been enjoying the UTS format, though it isn’t without its quirks as he explains.

“Obviously I’m playing in London, we’ve got one serve. It’s very tricky to go out there cold and hit that first serve. The ball could go anywhere,” said Draper.

“This format is perfect. We have very minimal time to recover, lot of long points and it’s really tough on both players. You see that in other matches as well, it’s not easy, guys are blowing. The format brings that out of you.”

After a season that has yet again been marred by injury, winning the UTS Grand Final would be the perfect boost for Draper ahead of the Australian Open in three weeks’ time, where he’ll be looking to build on a career-best round of 16 finish at the US Open recently.

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