If Jack Draper is to continue his upwardly mobile career trajectory then resilience is likely to be a key component, so it is perhaps fortunate that the trailblazing teenager would appear to have such a quality in spades.Draper summoned considerable mental toughness on a grand scale during the summer by recovering from an awfully one-sided first set to produce a comeback of note against the prodigiously talented Tseng Chun Hsin in the Wimbledon boys’ final.
Ultimately succumbing to Tseng’s majesty is no disgrace and, having battled through the main draw at the All England Club despite being unseeded, the left-hander looks intent on using that experience as a springboard.
He was at his irrepressible best again at the weekend, recovering from a set down in the final of the GB Pro Series Nottingham event – a $15,000 tournament – to seal the maiden ITF Futures title of his fledgling, but hugely promising, career.
By doing so, Draper, who is the son of former LTA chief executive Roger, also assumed the status of the sole 16-year-old in the top 1000 of the men’s rankings.
Draper recovered from an early setback to overcome fellow Briton Andrew Watson in the Nottingham final, winning 36 76(3) 60, as he mirrored his fightback in the quarterfinal when he conjured a stirring revival to beat Lukas Ollert of Germany.
“I’m very pleased with the way I’ve turned those matches around,” said Draper. “During those first sets, I probably wasn’t on my best form, so to come back and win those matches was a good achievement.
“I’m extremely happy with the way the week has gone and it’s exciting. I played well all week and it’s really good to get the title.”
Surrey-born Draper’s last-eight resurrection against fifth seed Ollert was probably the most impressive resurgence after he recovered from a 3-0 deficit in the final set before posting a 26 63 64 triumph.
His semifinal clash was a more straightforward affair. Moved indoors, Draper was at his merciless best in dispatching qualifier Constantin Schmitz, another German, and reaching his first ITF Futures final.
Once there, he lost the opening set and required a tiebreak to edge past Watson in the second before playing some faultless tennis in the third to all but saunter to his crowning as champion.
Claiming the title capped a productive few months for Draper, who gained his first pro ranking in August by qualifying for and reaching the second round of the Belgium F6 Futures, while a matter of days later he reached the semifinal of Slovakia F3 Futures.
Both those events were on clay, with the youngster proving himself to be a man for all seasons following his SW19 showing on grass and victorious output on the hard courts of the East Midlands.
The men’s doubles event in Nottingham, meanwhile, saw top seeds Jonny Binding and Scott Duncan secure their maiden title together as they overpowered Estonia duo Daniil Glinka and Karl Kiur Saar 62 76(6).