US Open: Jack Draper says the belief is back after ‘pushing’ Andrey Rublev during fourth-round defeat | Tennis News

Jack Draper declared his US Open run a “huge step in the right direction” and is confident he can eventually become one of the world’s best players despite his fourth-round defeat to Andrey Rublev on Monday.

The British No 5 lost in four sets on Louis Armstrong Stadium, ending British interest in the singles at Flushing Meadows.

Draper made the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time despite carrying shoulder concerns heading into this tournament, and the 21-year-old is confident his displays this fortnight have proved he can eventually better his career-high 38 ranking achieved last year.

“It’s been tough to sit on the sidelines and watch my ranking drop, feeling like everything has sort of gone very downhill since last year,” said Draper.

Jack Draper fell in four sets to Andrey Rublev at the US Open

“But now I’m coming away having had four good matches in a Grand Slam, and I’m going home injury free. That’s a huge step in the right direction for me and the one thing for me now is to look after my body and make sure that I can end the year strong and just keep going.

“I gave it all I had mentally, but I was pretty drained honestly. I was speaking to my coach a minute ago, and said that’s where, now that I’m fit, we can actually go back to base and try to work each day to be better with that intensity.”

Draper dug deep to win the second set against eighth seed Rublev, but in muggy conditions the Briton soon struggled to keep up with the Russian’s pace.

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Andrey Rublev couldn’t contain his frustration as his double fault saw Jack Draper secure the decisive break in the second set.

Nevertheless, after pushing a top-10 player at a Grand Slam, Draper believes in his own ability again and just hopes to avoid injuries to boost his consistency.

“I suppose the more times you do it and improve yourself, the more you start to believe it. I think belief is such an important thing, but it’s tough to believe it unless you’ve sort of done it, I suppose,” he added.

“Obviously with the amount of injuries, I’ve had difficult times so far in my career and it has been tough to honestly believe that I can go all the way for instance in a Grand Slam right now.

“But if I stay fit and if I go to Australia and I’m in a much better shape, then there’s no reason why I can’t be one of the top players in the world. I do believe that, it’s not really my tennis that is holding me back, it’s my physicality and being able to stay on court consistently.

“And once I do that, I think I’ll prove to myself I’ll be able to be one of the best players in the world, because my tennis is right there. I’ve barely played the last couple of months and I’ve come here, made the fourth round and pushed a top-10 player.

“If I can just get things right, keep being able to train and compete, I think I can go all the way in this sport. 100 per cent.”

‘I couldn’t hear the umpire’

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Jack Draper argued with the umpire following a series of let calls in his last-16 match at the US Open against Andrey Rublev and questioned whether the system was working correctly.

The conditions were tough on Louis Armstrong, and Draper was frustrated with the air con within the arena, which had the roof on but remained open behind both baselines.

The Briton also questioned a number of let calls throughout the match, adding that the noise made it difficult to hear the umpire.

“I’ve never played indoors and it’s windy. The air con… I think they turned it down a little bit, it was all over the place and it was quite cold in there,” he said.

“Obviously we’re sweating a lot. It’s cold and wet, and it didn’t feel too good, but also at the same time, just trying to lighten the situation in my head because it’s obviously a tough environment to play in.”

On the let calls, he added: “I’m pretty sure I hit a few serves that were going far above the net, and they were calling them lets. I think the umpire didn’t know what was going on either because he called time a couple of times and said ‘Jack you’ve got to get going’ and I didn’t hear him.”

Henman: Draper just scratching the surface

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Tim Henman and Marion Bartoli discuss Andrey Rublev’s win over Jack Draper in the last sixteen of the US Open and agree that the British player can improve his aggressiveness on returns

Former British No 1 Tim Henman on Sky Sports:

“It has been a very good tournament for Jack and he will take away so much from this… the physicality, the intensity and what it takes mentally to play these kinds of matches.

“For me, he is just scratching the surface. He is still new at this level and he’s had a lot of difficulties off the court with injuries.

“If he can build that resilience physically then he will be back at the fourth round of Grand Slams soon and going even further.”

The US Open on Sky Sports: How and where to watch

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Watch the US Open live and exclusive on Sky Sports from August 28 to September 10. All courts will be available to watch for the first time

Sky welcomes tennis back to its channels, adding to the existing sports portfolio and reaffirming the broadcaster as the home of live sport in the UK & Ireland.

Sky Sports’ new mixed reality studio features multiple custom built LED screens, integrated light ‘sabres’, and an open canopy roof, making the space alive with colour and energy to reflect the vibrancy of the last Grand Slam of the year.

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Relive Andy Murray’s rollercoaster career at the US Open, which saw him claim his maiden major title in 2012 in New York

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Andy Murray admits he’ll have to consider his tennis future if he continues to suffer disappointing results, while Tim Henman hopes he continues to persevere

With integrated AR capabilities, a versatile LED floor, and a ‘fourth wall’, the viewer will be transported to the Arthur Ashe Stadium in a 360-degree immersive environment. Our tennis experts will take the viewer into the eyes of the players for expert Hawkeye analysis and insight as the tournament progresses.

The technology involved allows us to add an entire new dimension and will bring customers closer to the action.

Highlights of matches will be available across Sky Sports TV and our social media platforms.

Video highlights will also be available of the Sky Sports website and app, where there will also be a daily live text commentary on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as live scores, reports, analysis and features.

Stream the US Open on Sky Sports with NOW for just £26 a month for 12 months. Cancel anytime.

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