The newest member of the UTS family, Draper will be making his debut on the tour in front of his home crowd.
Draper talks ranking goals and excitement for UTS debut
“I’m so grateful and honoured to be asked to play in the event,” Draper said in a soon-to-be-released interview with Tennis Majors.
“I’m just excited to go out there and try my best to win those matches.
“Playing in the UK is always great, I love playing at Wimbledon and the other home events, so hopefully this one should be really good.”
Speaking more generally about his targets for next year, 21-year-old Draper explained that he will largely be taking it week-by-week, but that he does have a ranking goal in mind for the end of the year.
“I think with the ranking, I have the target that I want to be in the top 20 by the end of the year. That’s the goal.”
Draper on anonymity in the UK
Despite all the success he’s enjoyed on tour at just 21 years of age, and being well-known in the global tennis community, Draper believes that he is still relatively anonymous in the UK, compared with the level of publicity that surrounded the like of Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu.
“Yeah, it’s strange in a way, because I feel as though I’m well-known in the tennis community, but maybe less so in the UK generally. I think people will know my name, but they won’t necessarily recognise me in the street.
“I think because of the big names and big achievements we’ve had recently with Andy Murray still around and Raducanu’s win at the US Open, maybe I’ve been flying under the radar a little bit more than I otherwise would have.”
Seoul up next as Grand Final in London beckons
After a fine end to the season in which he reached the fourth round of the US Open, took the Challenger title in Bergamo and reached his first ever tour-level title at the Sofia Open, Draper will be a huge threat at UTS London.
Before then, however, the next UTS event of the year will be Seoul as eight men fight for the title and a place in London’s Grand Final: Nick “King” Kyrgios, “La Monf” Gael Monfils, “The Machine” Soon-Woo Kwon, “The Bublik Enemy” Alexander Bublik, Richard Gasquet “The Virtuoso”, Jan-Lennard Struff “The Thunder”, Reilly Opelka “The Bot” and Milos Raonic “The Missile” all signed up for the first ever Asian leg of the UTS Tour.