Tennis Prose



Draper And Ferreira Defeat Tiafoe In Stuttgart

Jack Draper hired Wayne Ferreira as his new coach in early May, hoping the South African would spark his career from a bright prospect into an elite juggernaut.

Today, Draper scored his first elite win with Ferreira, a marathon three set win vs Frances Tiafoe in Stuttgart, 57 64 76. Ferreira previously coached Tiafoe for three years, developing him into a top ten player and Grand Slam semifinalist.

The 22 year old huge serving lefthander from Great Britain served 31 aces today and unleashed his heavy artillery groundstrokes to best Tiafoe, who won their previous meeting at Paris Indoors 2022, 63 75. Match point at 6-1 in the third set tiebreaker was a big serve to the ad court which the American was not able to return.

“I am incredibly happy,” Draper said. “My last three tie-breaks in the third set I have lost them all, so to come through today is amazing and I am really proud of my level. I am really happy with how I served and it was a really high-quality match.”

A former elite top 10 range player, Ferreira knows what it takes for a player to elevate himself into the top echelon of pro tennis and Draper is apparently a fast learner. “When Wayne Ferreira came in, James Trotman and I had been working together for a long time and we felt like we needed another voice,” Draper revealed. “He [Trotman] was always trying to get me to be more aggressive but I don’t think I’d quite got to that point, to that realization that I needed to change. After the first few events on the clay, where I had chances in all (three of) the matches I lost, I realized I was trying to make them miss and these top players don’t miss, especially in those big moments. I think we saw it with [Carlos] Alcaraz in the final of the French Open. With the way that men’s tennis is changing, you’ve got to go out there to win the match and win it on your own terms.”

“I can still win lots of matches playing as that defensive player. I’ve got to 35 in the world playing that way, but if I want to be a top-10 player I’m aware that people like Alcaraz take it to another gear. I’m trying to be more aggressive, more positive, and I’m getting through the line against some of these really, really good players, so I’m happy.”

Draper is currently ranked 40 and has a 15-12 match record this year, will play another American Brandon Nakashima in the Boss Open semis. This week Draper has beaten Marcos Giron, Tiafoe and Sebastian Ofner.

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