It was only earlier this month that Mark Draper, an Australian National Coach in Tennis Australia’s Brisbane facility, found out he would be leading the Australian Junior Davis Cup team to the 2013 Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Finals in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The Junior Davis Cup captaincy used to be the domain of Mark Woodforde, but he’s now working as a private coach for Marinko Matosevic.
Draper had no problem stepping in for Woodforde. In fact, he was the ideal choice as he knows the three boys now under his wing very well. In fact, he works with Oliver Anderson and Akira Santillan in Brisbane.
Prior to his life as a coach, the 42-year-old Draper was a player on the tour. He attained a career high ranking of No. 152 in 1998, but admits he became disillusioned when unable to crack the top 100 and eventually walked away from the game. During his career, Draper played doubles with his younger brother, Scott, who was a top 50 singles player. The twosome won the 1995 Washington, DC doubles title.
And, like his brother, Mark Draper also has a passion for golf.
Draper went to Australia’s PGA Q-school, passing the first two stages but not making it in the third -- and final -- stage. While he could go back and try and earn his tour card by getting through stage three, there is no time to do so. That’s because he’s got a full-time job coaching the future talents of Australia.
Have a listen to Mark Draper chat about his role as the Junior Davis Cup captain and being a former pro.