Jack Draper has been told what he must do to defeat Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open as the British No 3 faces arguably the toughest match of his young career. Tim Henman claimed that the reigning Aussie Open champion was currently “struggling” after being courtside for the Spaniard’s recent defeat to Cameron Norrie and thought that it left Draper with a good chance to pull off the upset.
Draper has a tall task in his Australian Open debut as he has drawn top seed and reigning champion Nadal in his opening match. While it’s a tricky draw for the 21-year-old, Draper himself is also a tough first opponent for the Spaniard given his world No 40 ranking and recent form, reaching the semi-final in Adelaide this week.
And Draper has now been told that he has a shot at causing an upset in Melbourne on Monday as long as he has the belief that he can win. Tim Henman told Express Sport that the Sutton native was capable of winning the match after joining Norrie at the recent United Cup where the world No 12 defeated Nadal in his first match of the season. “I think for Jack to believe that he can cause the upset is massively important,” he said, speaking ahead of the Australian Open, which is live and exclusive on discovery+ and Eurosport.
“And you reflect the way that he’s been playing, Jack’s been improving all the time and what he achieved last year starting outside sort of 270 and finishing in the top 50, he’s in the semis this week and he’s playing great tennis.” Comparing Draper’s current form to Nadal’s, the former world No 4 shared his experience of witnessing the 22-time Grand Slam champion on a match court earlier this month.
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