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Andy Murray tips Jack Draper to make impression at highest level

Jack Draper claimed his maiden ATP Tour title with victory in the BOSS Open final in Stuttgart (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP/PA)
Jack Draper claimed his maiden ATP Tour title with victory in the BOSS Open final in Stuttgart (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP/PA)

Jack Draper has officially taken over as British number one, but Andy Murray has tipped his compatriot for much bigger honours.

Draper’s run to the BOSS Open final in Stuttgart guaranteed that he would move above Cameron Norrie in the ATP rankings when they were updated on Monday.

The 22-year-old toasted his milestone in style on Sunday after he defeated Matteo Berrettini in three sets to clinch a maiden ATP Tour title and close-friend Murray expects more accolades to follow.

“Amazing for him to win his first tournament and his whole team. Obviously I’m delighted for him,” Murray, speaking from Queen’s Club, reflected.

“This year has been a tricky year for him and it could have looked a whole lot different as well, a lot more positive than it has been because he’s lost a number of extremely close matches.

“You change a couple of those results and all of a sudden he’s up easily in the top-20 in the world. In my eyes, he’s definitely playing good enough to be right up there.

“Yeah, I have had very little impact on Jack’s career. His team, his coaches and everyone that works with him on a day-to-day basis are the ones that have helped him do that. Also his own hard work.

“He genuinely loves the sport. He is really into it, he works really hard and I think grass is a brilliant surface for him. I think he’ll do really well over the years on the surface.

“Yeah, always special to win your first title and everyone is different in terms of things that motivate them.

“Jack, I think, has bigger goals to aspire to than being British number one. In my opinion he can get right up to the top of the game, right to the top of the world rankings.”

Draper paid tribute to Murray after his success in Stuttgart and appears the nature heir to the Scot’s throne when he eventually retires later this year.

British number three Dan Evans can see similarities, adding: “He is a very determined young man and trains exceptionally hard.

“He reminds me quite a lot of Andy in that way. How he is very focused, driven and nothing stops that.

“It is just desserts, I think. The British number one thing was obviously inevitable at some point, but the win is a big thing for him. He hadn’t won so that is a big thing off his back and sets him up well for the grass-court season.”

Norrie, who has lost the tag of British number one after a poor clay-court campaign and an early exit at Nottingham last week, was full of praise for his practice partner.

“I am excited for him. I’m good friends with him, I practice with him all the time,” Norrie said.

“The last five, six years we’ve been pushing each other and obviously he’s doing something well. He is playing great.

“Yeah, I am pumped for Jack.”