Jack Draper missed the chance to win his first career ATP title. The 21-years-old Briton lost to experienced Adrian Mannarino 6:7(6), 6:2, 3:6 in the final at “Arena Sofia”.
You are not the Sofia Open champion, but you’re the crowd’s champion. Did you feel the support?
Yes, definitely. There were a lot of young fans that seams to love a lot tennis, which is amazing. When I was a young player, this was so important to me. We were lucky in my country to have Andy Murry and a lot of people watching. It’s nice to give back to the fans after win or lose. I’m very happy that there was a crowd here in Sofia, and they were able to come to support me. I’m definitely very fond of the love of the fans and really appreciate that.
Do you think it could be a good idea if you had gone more often to the net, avoiding some of the long rallies? Because obviously Adrian is very patient plyer, waiting for you?
Definitely think that the match was a lose especially in the third set when he started playing more aggressively. This is something I was working on with my coach to look to come forward. When I was young, I was the small player trying to scrab every ball from every bigger player. So, I can say I’m learning to play differently. He didn’t make many errors today. It’s something I’m trying to improve. Me and my coach are working on this more and more, and I think that’s why my game on this level is more consistent.
What did you think after loosing the first set, and then after winning the second set?
I think I had chances in the first set that I shouldn’t avoid. I was playing his game a little bit too much. I had more opportunities in the first set, and maybe he deserved to win it with my errors. And then in the second one I came Playing really well and he lost his rhythm a little bit. At the end of the first set, I was angry with the way it ended but I came back trying really hard. That’s the beauty of playing lots of matches, you don’t have time to be disappointed. And then after the second I was in a good place, bit he reset being a great player so he came up me in the third. So that was expected. So, I think “You lose a set – you’re angry, you win a set – you’re happy”.
Last year Rune lost the final, and now he’s playing in the ATP finals in Torino. Maybe Sofia is producing great tennis players and it’s a way to improve them?
Yes, definitely, I think you’ve had Medvedev, Rune. So, these are players that I going quite well, there are a lot of great examples, and hopefully it’s the same for me. Obviously, I’m disappointed to lose the final, but I’ll keep working, and I hope I’ll come back to Sofia.
Do you feel more comfortable if you play against a right-handed opponent, or against a left-handed like today?
Nobody wants to play against a lefty, neither I being a lefty myself. It’s very difficult playing a lefty, and Mannarino is definitely someone who takes advantage. I think it’s a great advantage being a lefty so I’m very grateful being a lefty myself.
The tournament is held with the support of Inbet, Nova Broadcasting Group, А1, Diema Extra, Electrohold, Sofiamed, First Investment Bank, Europa Bullion, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Tourism.