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June 14, 2021

Jack Draper

London, England, UK

Queens Club

Press Conference

J. DRAPER/J. Sinner

7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Well played. Terrific start to the tournament. Talk us through how you managed to come through some pretty tight corners in that match.

JACK DRAPER: Yeah. I knew it was going to be really tough, because Jannik, he's one of the best. He's the best player in our age group. I was quite nervous going onto the court, but after I settled in and after I played quite a few points, you know, I felt like the crowd really helped me as well to sort of feel comfortable.

Yeah, I kept a positive mind. I was able to, you know, have a better level.

Q. Can you tell us a bit more about the rivalry or the friendship you have with Jannik when you were in juniors and how well you got to know him?

JACK DRAPER: I have only ever played Jannik once. I have never spoken to him. I only ever played him once in doubles in Berlin in 2017. Until 2019, I hadn't really heard anything about him, but obviously then he really kicked on.

I spoke to him actually for the first time before the match. He's a really nice guy. I'm sure as I get to know him more, we'll be good friends.

Q. Talk us a bit through what's happened since we saw you last in Miami, I guess.

JACK DRAPER: Oh, right. Yes, since Miami, Miami was a bit of a wakeup call for me in terms of getting my fitness levels back to where they should be at for this level. So I worked really hard. Did a training block for four weeks before heading out and playing some 25K events in Czech where I got quite a few good matches.

But in the second week I strained my ab, tore my ab. I mean, my preparation for this tournament actually hasn't been, you know, excellent. I only started serving about three days ago. But I was able to hit pretty soon after.

But, yeah, just another injury, but hopefully from now like I can stay on court. That's my problem at the moment, just staying on court, getting my body right, which is really important. Since Miami started, looking more and more at my diet and what I'm eating more professionally.

So, yeah, hopefully I'll be able to stay on court and compete hard in matches.

Q. You've got James Trotman at the side of the court for this tournament. Is that going to be the way it is this summer, or are you working with various LTA coaches?

JACK DRAPER: No, not at all. I mean, Trotters is with me this week. James Trotman is with me this week. He's a big part of my team. But my coach that's been for four years, Ryan Jones, he's up in Nottingham with Aidan this week. We share him at times.

Yeah, no, all my work really comes from Ryan and, you know, we have been together for four years now. You know, we're based out of junior league coaching in Hazelwood. Of course like with the LTA support, which I'm very grateful for, you know, James is a big part of that, as well. So yeah.

Q. In terms of today, it's such a good stage, isn't it, particularly when you have been playing 25Ks in the Czech Republic or whatever, the fact that you respond to that stage, that's an asset, I would have naught. Do you see it that way?

JACK DRAPER: Yeah, definitely. I mean, before the match I was nervous, like I was very fidgety, but I felt lucky to have the experience of playing No. 1 Court. When I played boys final Junior Wimbledon, I saw an idea what to expect. Also played at the Albert Hall in 2019 against Alcaraz. So just playing on a big court, it takes some getting used to.

But, yeah, no, I felt like I was pretty comfortable out there after a while. And, yeah, it's a great stage to do well on. Obviously like with the way the tour is at the moment, it's very tough to get in challengers. Given this opportunity, I'm very grateful to the LTA and the Queen's Club for this opportunity, because, you know, winning around here does a lot for my ranking and will hopefully get me out of the tough spot I'm in right now.

Q. Sinner obviously has quite rightly acquired a reputation through what he's done. Did you come across him much, you're kind of a similar age group, have you got much history in terms of playing against him in the same tournaments?

JACK DRAPER: No, I played him when I was about 15. 2017 I played him in a doubles match in Berlin. I only remembered that a few months ago, because obviously, you know, he's broke onto the scene the last couple years. No, I didn't see him much in juniors. I have never spoken to him until today.

Yeah, what a player. He's top 20 in the world, whatever he is. At 19, it's pretty impressive. Hopefully I can use today's experience and get up there myself.

Q. The TV interview you did immediately afterwards, seemed like you were struggling to kind of believe what had happened.

JACK DRAPER: Yeah. I mean, you know, I suppose like when you have a bit of bad luck with injuries and stuff, like you put in so much work to get here, and getting an opportunity obviously was very happy to be able to come out here. But to go and win against a player like Jannik, you know, with the amount of effort and emotion I put in every day to what I'm trying to achieve, I was surprised that I felt that way, because I have never really felt that with a tennis match.

I guess that just shows how much it means to me. Yeah, hopefully I can use this experience to, you know, carry on.

Q. They are announcing the wildcards for Wimbledon this week. I wonder if that performance has given the selectors a bit of a headache, unless you're confident you're going to get one for Wimbledon?

JACK DRAPER: I don't know. You know, the All England Club, you know, they could see it from a different way. Maybe I haven't competed that much. Either way, I'll be ready to playing qualifying if I get a qualifying wildcard, and if I get a main, then obviously that would mean the world to me and I could go and compete.

If I get in qualifying, then my goal will be to qualify for the tournament obviously. Yeah, I'm not expecting anything, not at all, because like I said, I haven't competed loads. But a win like today I guess does help my chances of getting a wildcard.

Q. Are there any permanent changes that you'll be making to your training regime, what you eat, hydration, as a result of what happened in Miami?

JACK DRAPER: So after Miami I, you know, took it upon myself to listen to the information at hand about my diet and sort of eating better, which has made a difference already.

In terms of my team, obviously I'm with Junior League Tennis based in Hazelwood with Ryan Jones, and James Trotman is a big part of my team. My fitness trainer I had in Miami, Martin Skinner who I was working with for two years, he looks after a lot of the kids down at JETs, so I thought it was a great idea for me to maybe take a different path for my fitness.

So now, you know, I'm working with Ian Prangley, who was Kyle Edmonds' fitness trainer, worked in Tennis Australia. He's very good at what he does. And with me is, he was in my box today actually next to Trots, is Charlie Faulkner, who works for the LTA. So there is a good link there.

Yeah, I mean, that changed about three weeks ago. But, yeah, good start already. But, yeah, I'm in a good place with the fitness side now, and hopefully I can, you know, move forward.

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