Jack Draper ‘mentally destroyed’ after Roland Garros retirement
Jack Draper has spoken about the toll that injuries have had on him in his young career, after the Brit was forced to retire from his first round match at Roland Garros with a shoulder problem.
Draper was playing his first ever main draw match at the Paris major against Tomas Martin Etcheverry, and despite being absent from important lead-up events to the tournament declared himself fully fit.
However, the 21-year-old began serving underarm in the eighth game of the match and ended up calling a trainer after losing the first set.
Draper took some pills in an attempt to help ease the shoulder pain, but ended up retiring in only the second game of the second set.
This point was 𝙗𝙚𝙖𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙛𝙪𝙡𝙡𝙮 executed by Jack Draper 🤩
Unfortunately, the Brit was forced to retire in the second set.
— Eurosport (@eurosport) May 29, 2023
The ATP No.55 revealed how he obtained this latest injury, “Yesterday during practice when I was hitting serves, I started to feel a bit of a twinge at the bottom of my shoulder.”
He continued, “I took all the things I needed to go on court today, hoping it would settle down. But it didn’t. It got worse. I had every intention to try to compete and play well, but after the first game it was clear that it was very sore.”
It is not the first time that Draper has retired this year and despite claiming that he wanted to continue, the British No.4 suggested that his coach encouraged him to call an end to the contest with the upcoming grass court season in mind.
“I hate being the guy who is injured a lot,” said Draper. “It’s difficult. Mentally, it’s extremely tough, tougher than playing and losing almost. I put in a lot of work. I had a good week last week and I’m coming here feeling optimistic but it’s not meant to be. I feel a bit mentally destroyed.”
“I said to my coach in the first set, ‘I’m not retiring from another match’. I don’t want to do this. Even if I had to play three sets serving underarm, I don’t care, I just wanted to play.”
He added, “But there’s no point in making this worse. I’ve obviously got to think about the grass round the corner and hope it settles down before that.”
Despite suffering another setback, Draper appeared confident about his chances of playing his home major of Wimbledon, but did not comment on whether he would be able to compete at the Surbiton Challenger he is entered into next week.
“It’s not a tear or a strain, it’s something to do with the tendon at the top of my arm. And, if I’m trying to serve 130mph serves, the impact, it’s just going to get more and more sore,” claimed Draper.
“It’s a huge part of my game, my serve, so hopefully it settles down but I have no idea how long that might be. I think I’ll be more than fine for Wimbledon, it’s just what’s going on in the weeks coming up.”
With Draper’s departure from Roland Garros, there is only one British singles player left in the tournament with Cameron Norrie surviving a five-set thriller with home favourite Benoit Paire.
Jack Draper retirements and withdrawals in 2023
Draper is a one of a number of Brits who has struggled with injuries over recent months, and has already had to withdraw from a plethora of tournaments due to leg, abdominal, hip and shoulder issues in 2023.
Here are the up-and-coming Brit’s retirements and withdrawals so far this season.
- Indian Wells Third Round (vs Carlos Alcaraz)
- Roland Garros First Round (vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry)
Tournament withdrawals due to injury
Read >> World’s best tennis magazine