Jack Draper’s dream run in Cincy continues after Gael Monfils retirement – ‘I hope Gael is alright’

Jack Draper in action

Jack Draper reached his maiden ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final after Gael Monfils retired from their third round clash at the Canadian Open and, although he admits it is “nice for myself”, the Brit says “it’s never how you want it to happen”.

The 20-year-old Draper kicked off his fairytale week in Montreal by winning two qualifying matches to reach the main draw and he followed it up with a win over Hugo Gaston in the opening round.

But his best was yet to come as he stunned third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round for his first win over a top 10 player.

He followed it up with another confident display against former world No 6 Monfils in the third round on Thursday, although the Frenchman struggled with an ankle injury.

The British No 4 won the 32-minute opening set 6-2, but Monfils mounted a comeback as he was leading 2-0 in the second set before taking a medical timeout. After initially indicating he would continue to play, the 17th seed eventually retired.

It was a difficult moment for Monfils as he had just returned to the ATP Tour following a small procedure on his ankle that forced him to miss the French Open and Wimbledon.

Naturally Draper was sympathetic despite his big result.

“I know what it’s like to do an ankle,” he said. “I did one last year and rebounded. I hope Gael is alright. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season. I guess to be in the quarter-finals is nice for myself, but it’s never how you want it to happen.”

The 20-year-old will face Pablo Carreno Busta for a place in the semi-final after the Spaniard upset seventh seed Jannik Sinner 6-2, 6-4.

“The most important thing is to just to get a good sleep now,” the Brit said.

“I finished last night very late. I came out today and spoke to my coach and we were thinking it was going to be a tough mental challenge today to come out here and be all there. But I think I did a good job of that and hopefully tomorrow I can put a little bit of pressure [on my opponent].”

If he comes through that match then he could face fellow Brit Dan Evans, who upset 10th seed Taylor Fritz from the United States 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 7-5, in the semi-final.

Evans will face another American in Tommy Paul, who defeated 13th seed Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-2, in the quarter-final. Paul also claimed the big scalp of second seed Carlos Alcaraz in the second round.