Jack Draper has more confidence in his game and his body than his new Australian Open look.

The 22-year-old goes into his first-round clash with American Marcos Giron on Tuesday as the form British player having reached his second consecutive ATP Tour final at the Adelaide International last week.

Draper was hugely frustrated to miss out on silverware again, this time to Czech Jiri Lehecka, but his will be a name other players in the draw are hoping to avoid.


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There is no missing Draper’s new skin fade hair cut, though, for which he is expecting mixed reviews.

“I went to Adelaide with it, and I was saying to my coach, ‘Everyone’s going to be looking at me’,” said Draper.

“And then it turns out everyone in the city had the same haircut. I might get a few more fans here because of it. I like to be different and express myself. I think that’s part of tennis, expressing your game on the court.

“Some people might say it’s atrocious. But I’d say it’s bold, isn’t it? I saw a barber last week in Adelaide. And they did it and my coach was like, ‘It looks like they faded it much better, it looks good’.

“I said to him, ‘It’s not bold enough’. So I went to a Turkish barbers here and you know they’ll do the job all right.”

It is no surprise to see Draper making waves on the main tour. After an injury-disrupted 2023, he ended the year by reaching his first final in Sofia and he backed that up in Adelaide.

His run included an epic victory over Miomir Kecmanovic, who he lost to at the Davis Cup in November, in three hours and 39 minutes, as well as a much more straightforward one against 14th-ranked Tommy Paul.

He led Lehecka by a set in the final before the Czech fought back, but Draper, who reached the fourth round of the US Open last summer, headed to Melbourne in a buoyant mood.


“I had a great week,” he said. “I played a lot of tennis. My second-round match was a really long one and then to back up those performances again against top players was great.

“Obviously I came up short in the final, I was very frustrated about that. But it’s part of the journey. I’m doing a lot of great things on the court. I’m improving all the time, I think. I’ve just got to keep going. And it gives me a lot of confidence that I’m able to go deeper in these tournaments now.”

Most top players do not like playing a lot of matches the week before a grand slam but Draper is confident in the physical improvements he has made under new trainer Steve Kotze.

“I’m really pushing my boundaries,” he said. “And I think the main thing is that maybe in the years past I was a bit softer and I didn’t want to fully do the work. Whereas I’ve had enough experiences where there’s no hiding from it and I’ve really embraced what I’m trying to do.

“I’m as ready as I can be for this slam. I feel really good about my tennis and about my body and my mental side of things and where I’m at. So I’m really excited to get started here.”