Jack Draper is eager to test his big-hitting tennis game against some of the world's best players at the 2023 UTS Grand Final at ExCeL London this week.

The 21-year-old British number four debuts in a format which has some similarities to cricket’s 20/20 and Hundred competitions.

The UTS (Ultimate Tennis Showdown) features four eight-minute quarters, one serve, bonus cards and just 15 seconds between points and sudden death points, all accompanied by live music for an experience which combines sport and entertainment.

It is designed to be an innovative tennis tour, closer to the habits of connected audiences and breaking with the traditionally strict discipline imposed on players.

Draper, who reached the fourth round of US Open back in September and recently claimed the Trofeo Faip-Perrel ATP Challenger title in Bergamo, Italy after defeating Belgian David Goffin, is drawn in Group B where he will first meet fellow wild-card invitee Holger Rune, Denmark’s world number eight, on Friday, then Gael Monfils from France and Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik.

Group A will feature Russia’s Andrey Rublev, who has reached the last eight in three of the four Grand Slam events including Wimbledon, this year’s Roland Garros runner-up Casper Ruud of Norway, Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Frenchman Benoit Paire.

Draper is currently ranked 61 on the men’s ATP world tour and was given the nickname ‘The Power’ after being a fan of the legendary 16-time world PDC/BDO darts champion Phil Taylor.

And he believes his group will create exceptional match-ups throughout the weekend at ExCeL London.

"It’s going to be really nice to go up against some really good players and hopefully there’s going to be a good crowd there and we can excite a few people,” he said.

“Rune (Holger) plays very flat tennis, very fast tennis and it seems like he’s coming in a lot. So it’s definitely going to be a match with lots of flair. I think it will be similar with Sascha Bublik and Monfils.

"They’re both very unorthodox players who like to run a lot but also like to hit some really big shots. The way all of them play is really exciting tennis so that mixed with my game style should make for some really good matches.

"Tennis is very structured in the way it does things and UTS seems very different to that. I’ve watched a lot of videos and it always seems like it’s a lot of fun, plus the players really seem like they’re having a good time.

"There also seems to be a different crowd at UTS as well, making a lot of noise. It’s not a team event but it seems to have a similar atmosphere.”

And Draper is keen to participate in his first UTS event as the big hometown favourite, adding: “Also it’s in London so it’s right on my doorstep. The chance to play an event in your home country is always amazing, considering we’re always away.

“I’ve finished the year really well, played a lot of matches and won a lot of matches as well and I feel really confident heading into the event. As players we do a lot of pre-season training so this is a good opportunity to get some matches and see where I’m at. It’s good preparation for Australia. 

“I think it will be great to play points. Being in the off-season we don’t get to compete that much so it’s good to get your eye in. Also, we play tennis to compete. My love for tennis comes from the competition, the buzz I feel playing."

Renowned coach Patrick Mouratoglou and businessman Alex Popyrin, father of Australia’s current world men’s world number 39 Alexei, created UTS in 2020 in response to the disruption of the tennis season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Italy’s 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini won the inaugural event after beating this year’s Australian Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in July 2020 at Mouratoglou Academy in Biot, near Nice, France.

In the last UTS event held in Frankfurt, Germany in September Rublev defeated Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in four sets.

There are five ticketed sessions available - afternoon and evening of Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16 and a daytime session on Sunday, December 17. Anyone who buys a day pass for Friday or Saturday is guaranteed to see all eight players. 

And promoters have offered a special 15 per cent discount off tickets for this week’s UTS Grand Final at ExCeL London. To claim use code ‘LOCAL’ at: uts.live