Jack Draper vs. Andy Murray: The Battle of Britain conflict at Indian Wells offers an acid test as the new and the old collide


Decades since Jack Draper watched in awe Andy Murray win his maiden Wimbledon title, the new and the old of British tennis meet for the first time on the ATP Tour on Monday.

Draper and Murray had a sort of on-court clash at December’s Battle of the Brits, which Murray, aged 35 by 14 years, won in a super tiebreak.

But their clash in Indian Wells is the first official encounter and puts both players to the test. Murray has had a strong start to 2023, leading him to believe he can still aim for major tournament wins as Draper continues his rise in the world order.

Before the game, Draper said: “I’m looking forward to it. I assume that the match will be extremely difficult. He’s come through a lot of games lately, he’s playing with confidence and I think his body is in a really good position at the moment too.”

Draper readily admits that while sitting on center court for the 2013 Wimbledon final, he had ambitions to be like Murray. During the Covid lockdown, that relationship changed, with the pair instead becoming practice partners, to the point where they know each other’s games inside out.

“He’s a good friend and still someone I look up to and get constant advice from,” Draper said. “He’s a great champion and also a very good person.”

Murray has repeatedly spoken out about Draper’s game and his future. After a comfortable win over Radu Albot at the weekend, he said: “It’s going to be a good game. He didn’t actually ride much on the Tour, but when he did he always performed really well. I think he will be a top player for a long time provided he stays healthy.”

Also in action on Monday is Emma Raducanu, who is hoping to continue her strong early display against Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Meanwhile, Britain’s No.1 Cameron Norrie booked his fourth-round spot at Indian Wells after recovering from defeat to defeat Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-7 7-5 6-2. Next he faces a tough opponent, Russia’s No. 6 seed Andrey Rublev.

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/tennis/jack-draper-vs-andy-murray-indian-wells-b1066801.html Jack Draper vs. Andy Murray: The Battle of Britain conflict at Indian Wells offers an acid test as the new and the old collide


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