A young tennis star's ATP debut was cut short after collapsing on the court during the Miami Open on Thursday. Jack Draper was playing against Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round of the event. When Kukushkin was leading the first set 6-5, Draper had his heart rate checked by the medical staff after appearing distressed. He decided to return but fell to the ground while attempting to keep the ball in play on a set point. Rolling on his back, Draper was quickly attended to by the medical staff.
"At the changeover, I was starting to feel my body a bit," Draper said as reported by the New York Post. "I said that I'm going to carry on because I wasn't feeling faint … But obviously, when I got out there, that wasn't the case. On the last point, I didn't collapse. I actually just tripped because I was starting to feel really dizzy and stuff. In the last couple of hours, I have been with physios, trying to recover as best as possible, just trying to look after myself and move forward."
A reminder that tennis can be brutal 😔
Not the way Britain's Jack Draper wanted to end his first match on Tour.March 25, 2021
Draper retired from the match after Kukushkin won the set 7-5. The 19-year-old also revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19 in January. "I didn't move a muscle and that was after pre-season as well, so I put in a really good pre-season and then I didn't play so it's been a rough start to the year," he said. "I got it, it's obviously an extremely aggressive virus and you can catch it from anywhere, but I got it and it did affect me quite badly for seven days. I had bad symptoms and then I recovered pretty quickly from there, but it definitely had an effect on me."
Draper made a name for himself in 2018 when he reached the finals of the Wimbledon Championships Boys' Singles. He lost to Tseng Chun-hsin in straight sets. At the time, Draper was looking to become the first British winner of the Boys' Singles title since Stanley Matthews in 1962. In 2019, Draper was awarded a wildcard into the 2019 Wimbledon Championship Men's Doubles draw and singles qualification draw.