‘I beat the person who inspired me most’: Jack Draper overcomes Andy Murray at Indian Wells

Andy Murray (left) was hailed as an inspiration by Jack Draper

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Jack Draper said Andy Murray was the “sports person who inspired me most” after beating his compatriot to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells.

In a first-ever competitive meeting between the two British players, Draper – 14 years Murray’s junior – produced a fine performance to record a straight sets victory, 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

The Englishman was watching on centre court as an 11-year-old as Murray won his first Wimbledon crown in 2013, and has forged a close bond with the three-time major champion.

After setting up a meeting with Carlos Alcaraz in California, Draper said victory over the 35-year-old was a moment he would “never forget”.

“If I was going to say one sporting person who has inspired me the most it would be Andy,” Draper told BBC Sport.


“To come off court with the win against Andy – I’ll never forget that moment.

“I’m very proud of myself. Beating Dan Evans, as well [in the previous round]. Dan’s a fierce competitor, someone who I’ve looked up to. That gave me confidence to go out there tonight and think even though it’s a really tough mental challenge again, I can do this.”

A hard-fought opening set lasted more than an hour and 20 minutes, with Draper eventually taking the tie-break.

The left-handed 21-year-old had significant strapping applied to his thigh between sets, but appeared to be moving freely as he broke Murray to take a 4-2 second-set lead.

After saving two break points, Draper had the strapping removed before victory was secured when Murray double-faulted for a fifth time in the match.

Draper and Murray exchanged a few words at the net after the younger man’s win

A hip issue has been an ongoing concern for the 2018 Wimbledon junior finalist, forcing him to miss two recent tournaments, but Draper is confident he can deal with the injury as he prepares to take on US Open winner Alcaraz.

“This is my first tournament in the last couple of months since I played Rafa [Nadal] in the Australian Open,” Draper said after continuing a promising debut at Indian Wells.

“My body is in a position at the moment where I am improving a lot. I have a fitness trainer, Dejan Vojnovic, who is incredible but I have only been working with him for three months and this is a long-term project.

“It’s something that is bothering me a bit at the moment, but day by day it can only get better but being sore in this tournament was always something that was going to be likely.”

Murray had arrived in California with optimism he could produce another deep tournament run after reaching his first final of 2023 in Qatar in late February.

But fatigue appeared to hamper the Scot, particularly during the second set, and Murray admitted his recent exertions had taken a toll.

“In the tie-break, I had a few opportunities but he came up with a really good return on the six-all point and then the second set was tough for me, physically,” Murray said.


“Just a bit of fatigue to be honest – recently I’ve played quite a lot of long matches and the first set was very tough physically for both of us, and here it’s not that easy to finish points.”

Alcaraz advanced to the fourth round with a straight sets victory over Tallon Griekspoor. The top seed reached the semi-finals at the prestigious BNP Paribas Open last year before falling to fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

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