Jack Draper says ‘there was no point in making injury worse’

Shahida Jacobs
Jack Draper in action
Jack Draper plays tennis

Jack Draper admits he needs to work on his fitness in order to become more resilient for the demands of playing on the ATP Tour.

The British youngster produced impressive performances in the opening three rounds of the Indian Wells Open as he brushed aside qualifier Leandro Riedi before getting the better of his more esteemed compatriots Dan Evans and former world No 1 Andy Murray in his next two outings.

His reward was a fourth-round clash against top seed Carlos Alcaraz, but the 21-year-old never got going against the reigning US Open champion as he struggled with an abdominal injury that first flared up during the match against Murray.

After finding himself 2-6, 0-2 behind, the left-hander decided to retire as he didn’t want to aggravate the injury.

“I was doing further damage, so there was no point in making it worse,” he told BBC Sport.

“At the end of my match against Andy [Murray, on Monday], I obviously had a bit of hip pain but my ab towards the end was getting sorer.

“I woke up [on Tuesday] and my ab was sore and when I started serving 100 per cent in the match it gradually got worse. I couldn’t really play properly.”

Draper also had some fitness problems during the backend of the 2022 season and he admits he needs to put in more if he is to play regular tennis.

Last year he played in 22 ATP Challenger Tour and ATP Tour events, but he is hoping to increase that quota over the next few years.

He added: “I’m at the start of properly working hard on my fitness training.

“I’ve done a lot of stuff on court over the years but I’ve never really worked truly on my body.

“I’m still early in my development. I’m starting to play Grand Slams with five sets. The physical nature of this sport is very demanding and so you’ve got to have a really resilient body to cope with the demands of the tour.”

Draper is set to rise into the top 50 of the ATP Rankings on the back of his Indian Wells Open run as he is currently No 43 in the Live Rankings. If he stays there then he will be the British No 3 behind Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans with three-time Grand Slam winner Murray slipping to No 4.

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