sport news Draper's great chance to emerge from shadow of Raducanu and KO Nadal at the ... trends now
Jack Draper has acknowledged how helpful it has been to ride along in Emma Raducanu’s slipstream, so much so that he goes unrecognised on London’s Tube.
This would all change if, early next week, he knocked top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal out in the Australian Open first round.
For the powerful left-hander from Surrey, just turned 21, it looks a lip-smacking draw. There has rarely been a better time to face the Spanish legend, and Draper is easing into the kind of form that makes him one of the tour’s fastest climbers.
Jack Draper (above) has been drawn against Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open
Thursday's formalities also put Raducanu — recovering well from last week’s ankle problem — on course to meet Coco Gauff in the second round, and Andy Murray will clash with Matteo Berrettini.
Yet Draper would emerge from the shade of Britain’s highest profile duo if he were to take down Nadal, something that looks within his compass.
‘It will be amazing to play on a big court against him, he is a great champion,’ he said of the Spaniard. ‘There are a lot of emotions, thinking about playing him, but I have still got to do well in the tournament. Whatever happens it will be a special occasion for me. I’m still very young in my career, so it’s great to have these sorts of experiences and exposure to playing Rafa on a big arena. I’ll just be trying to play well