Jack Draper (ATP 316) made his debut on the ATP circuit this week. The 19-year-old British tennis player played his very first match at the highest level, at the prestigious Masters 1000 tournament in Miami. But after one set the fun was already over.
Draper fought a fierce battle with the Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin (ATP 105). In a temperature of around 30 degrees, the losing finalist of Wimbledon 2018 managed no less than nineteen winners in the juniors. Four times as much as its more experienced opponent. The set quickly went over the hour and would eventually last 81 minutes.
With a 5-6 deficit, the young Briton, who tested positive for corona in January, received a first warning. He had to sit in his chair, half-exhausted, and a doctor was called to take Draper’s blood pressure and heart rate, among other things. The promising tennis player did not want to give up and went to work again. Until he conceded a set point and collapsed on a backhand. Draper lay on the ground for four minutes, then left the tennis court with some help.
“I think he’s a really good player,” said Kukushkin. “It was a tough race under difficult circumstances. So warm and dry. Plus very slow, I’ve never experienced that before. The tennis balls got heavier after just one or two games. Then you really need a lot of energy to get them over the net. We played so many rallies today. ”
In the meantime, Draper would be back to his senses and look forward to the clay court season in Europe.