Andy Murray had his say on the future for young British tennis stars Emma Raducanu and Jack Draper.
Andy Murray has weighed in on Emma Raducanu and Jack Draper’s future in British tennis, as he backed the young players to carry the sport for the nation in the future. Raducanu has already been able to prove herself by winning the 2021 US Open as a qualifier but has since seen mixed results while Draper has enjoyed a more conventional step-by-step rise up the rankings.
British tennis already appears to have found its next Murray in Jack Draper, the 20-year-old who will become the first Brit to play the Next Gen Finals when he makes his debut at the 21-and-under event on Tuesday. And the former world No 1 himself has now shared his excitement for Draper’s future as he gave his verdict on the future of the world No 41 and Raducanu.
“Jack has got huge potential and only done six or seven months on tour,” the three-time Grand Slam champion told the Evening Standard. Draper has enjoyed a breakthrough season, starting the year ranked down at No 265 in the world before making his top 50 debut after winning four Challenger titles, reaching his maiden ATP Tour semi-final in Eastbourne and making the Montreal Masters quarter-final.
But Murray also wasn’t writing off Raducanu after an up-and-down year for the British No 1, which saw her reach a career-high of world No 10 before falling out of the top 70 of the rankings when she crashed out in the first round of the US Open, where she was the defending champion. The 35-year-old continued: “I’ve been lucky to practise with him and spend time with him. The future’s really bright for him but also with Emma Raducanu.
“And there’s a couple of junior prospects on the women’s side that the coaches are pretty excited about.” The current world No 46 has spent much of the last year defending Raducanu from critics, with the 19-year-old finding herself under intense scrutiny since making tennis history as the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title.
Murray has consistently been asked to give advice to the Bromley teenager but has tried not to be overbearing, as he said it would be “incredibly irritating” for him to “wade in” shortly after she won the 2021 US Open. His stance has remained but he has also been there to offer key pointers along the way, especially since she enlisted his former fitness trainer Jez Green.
“I think with any coaching relationship, whether it’s strength and conditioning or tennis, it’s kind of making sure that you’re spending enough time with that person to be able to really make a difference,” he recently told The Telegraph, indicating that Raducanu needed an extended period of time to train with Green.
“I think sometimes unless you really dedicate the time to it is kind of difficult to make a difference. So if they get to spend enough time together, I’m sure that that would be helpful for her,” he added.