British teenager Jack Draper dramatically collapsed with apparent heat exhaustion during his ATP Tour debut against Mikhail Kukushkin at the Miami Open.
The 19-year-old is one of Britain’s brightest prospects and he showed more than enough in the 79 minutes it took for Kukushkin to win the opening set 7-5 to indicate he can play at this level consistently in the future.
But physically Draper clearly has work to do.
Jack Draper, 19, collapsed on court at the Miami Open before retiring on his ATP Tour debut
He began to look increasingly troubled by the Florida heat and humidity and called the doctor trailing 6-5.
After having his heart-rate checked and blood pressure taken, Draper resumed, but down set point he fell to the floor.
He was swiftly attended to by medics and was sitting up with an ice pack on his neck when the umpire called the match for Kukushkin.
Former British No 1 Greg Rusedski believes there are plenty of positives for Draper to take from the loss, despite being forced into a retirement.
Medics quickly ran over to the 19-year-old and after coming round he walked off unassisted
‘The hard part, he’s not used to playing at this sort of physical tempo, this sort of period of time,’ Rusedski told Amazon Prime.
‘It was like an hour and 10 minutes, every point was brutal and it’s a step up in class.
‘He has to learn from this situation, get the ice towel out from game one. I’ve got to make sure I hydrate.
‘I’m sure he will recover from that. That was the positive from the end of that match.’