Jack Draper has stated that his fiery temper is similar to that of Andy Murray after battling fellow Brit Ryan Peniston to reach Eastbourne’s semi-finals.
The 20-year-old became the last British player standing at the Rothesay International, thanks to a courageous 6-3 6-3 victory over his compatriot.
His powerful performance at Devonshire Park was underpinned by aggression and fighting.
However, he has repeatedly expressed agitation and chastised himself after mistakes, drawing comparisons to the demonstrative on-court behavior of the three-time Grand Slam winner Murray.
“It’s tough; I’ve never been someone incredibly calm and composed and like ice on a tennis court,” said Draper, who will face French American Maxime Cressy in the quarterfinals.
“That’s the unique thing about tennis: everyone has a different mindset. Mine is a little more fiery, so it’s hard to stay calm all the time.
“If I was calm all the time, I probably wouldn’t get the best of me, because that’s not who I am.
“Andy has a similar personality, I think. He’s someone who loves to compete, wants to win all the time, and sometimes that brings a little anger here and there.
“If he was someone who never got excited or emotional, maybe he didn’t have the success and the career he did, it’s definitely a balancing act.”
In a tour-level first encounter between the left-handed jokers, tournament rookie Draper lost the first two games but claimed six of the next seven to win the first set.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with the world number 108 overturning a 3-1 deficit by winning five straight games to advance to the first ATP Tour semi-final of his career.
Draper is due to be at Wimbledon next week, and while he is fully focused on the current competition, he insists he fears no one.
“Obviously I’ve gained a lot of confidence this week, which I can take to future tournaments,” said Draper, who made the first set against Novak Djokovic in his first-round loss at SW19 last year.
“Everyone in the Wimbledon draw is obviously an amazing player and whoever I play is going to be very tough.
“There’s no doubt that I can go far, but at the same time, there are a lot of things that need to come together for that to happen.
“I definitely believe in my ability and my game to beat the best players in the world, especially on grass, because it’s a bit of a leveler, I would say.
“I’m going to Wimbledon and whoever I play will be confident.”
The all-British clash secured the crowd needed by the home crowd after Cameron Norrie and Harriet Dart were knocked out in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
British men’s number one Norrie had his first Eastbourne semi-final negated by a 7-5 7-5 loss to world number 60 Cressy, while Dart was bested by two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, losing 6-3 6 -4.
Having also knocked out Dan Evans, Cressy will be aiming for a third consecutive British tier on Friday, with Draper bracing himself for a tough task.
“It’s going to be very difficult because he’s obviously been playing really well this week, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
After a strong season on grass so far, Peniston is now looking forward to fulfilling his Wimbledon dream.
The 26-year-old has his fingers crossed for a meeting with Rafael Nadal, winner of 22 Grand Slams in the London championship. ,” he said of the Spanish.
“I’m so, so excited, so excited to play there. I think it’s the dream of many children to play there. It’s mine for sure.”
Norrie will be seeded ninth at Wimbledon.
Although the 26-year-old was disappointed with a result that prevented him from meeting Draper, he insisted that the preparation for the upcoming slam at home was more than satisfactory.
“It was perfect, just what I needed, and I’m heading back to London now, and I’m getting ready for Wimby, obviously,” Norrie said.
American third seed Taylor Fritz will face Australia’s Alex De Minaur in the other men’s semifinal, following their respective wins over Alexander Bublik (6-3 6-2) and Tommy Paul (6-2 4-6 6-4).
In women’s, an elbow injury to Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko led Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia to qualify to face Kvitova.
Defending champion Jeļena Ostapenko will face Camila Giorgi in the other half of the draw. The Latvian beat Anhelina Kalinina 6-3 6-2, while the Italian Giorgi defeated Viktoriya Tomova 6-2 6-1.
The article that Jack Draper admits that an aspect of his personality compares to Andy Murray first appeared on Tennis365.com.