US Open 2023 results: Jack Draper loses to Andrey Rublev in fourth round

Jack Draper cools off during a changeover during his US Open match against Andrey Rublev
Jack Draper targeting a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time in his career
Place: Flushing Meadows, New York Appointment: August 28-September 10
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Briton Jack Draper believes he can “go all the way in this sport” after his encouraging run at the US Open ended in the round of 16.

Draper’s bid for a first Grand Slam quarter-final ended in a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 defeat to eighth seed Andrey Rublev.

The 21-year-old pushed Russian Rublev hard during a physical encounter in a humid New York, but faded in the end.

“It’s not my tennis that’s holding me back, it’s my physique and my consistency on the court,” he said.

“Once I do that, I think I will prove to myself that I can be one of the best players in the world.”

Draper, who was doubtful for the final major of the year due to a shoulder problem, was the last remaining Briton in the singles event.

Reaching the round of 16 was Draper’s best performance at a Grand Slam during his young career and gives optimism for next season.

“My tennis is there. I’ve barely played the last few months and I came here, reached the fourth round and pushed a top 10 player,” he said.

“If I can just get it right, and still be able to compete and train, I think I can go all the way in this sport.”

Draper’s ranking plummeted after he missed nearly three months of the season – including Wimbledon – with a torn left shoulder.

But the left-hander, who reached a career high of 38 at the start of the year, will return to the dawn of the world top 100.

Encouragement for Draper as learning curve continues

Once the pain of a Grand Slam exit has subsided, Draper will reflect on a week that showcased the immense talent he possesses.

Counting a big serve and a big forehand as his greatest weapons, the southpaw’s abilities were never in doubt.

Staying fit has been his biggest problem, arriving at the US Open with what he described as “70-30 chances” of playing after another shoulder injury.

The injury, suffered at the Winston-Salem Open last month, was separate from the one that had kept him sidelined for the previous three months.

But he showed resilience in New York in his first three matches and fought hard in difficult conditions against the seemingly tireless Rublev under the roof of Louis Armstrong Stadium.

“I gave it my all mentally but honestly I was pretty exhausted,” he said.

“You’re playing against a guy who has trouble passing the ball. It’s physically quite exhausting.”

Having played only two matches on the ATP Tour since tearing a shoulder muscle at Roland Garros in May, it was perhaps no surprise that he physically collapsed after falling two sets against one.

Draper’s second serve came under increasing pressure and his serve speed dropped when it was broken in the fifth game of the fourth set.

The result then seemed close to a formality, but the British number four continued to fight as hard as his body would allow.

His weariness showed in a double fault that resulted in match point, although Rublev was unable to seize the opportunity, missing another return in the second as Draper managed to hold on.

That posed the question for Rublev to serve and, after letting slip a third match point as he watched a returner cut the line, he won his fourth with a crosscourt forehand winner.

The huge roar Rublev let out when he finally clinched victory indicated the stress the Briton had put him under.

“From the first point, I felt the ball really well and I thought Jack was playing well,” said Rublev, who reached his fourth US Open quarterfinal.

“But I managed to break it down and kept thinking that even if I lost, I would make the match physical because Jack is coming back from injury.

“We could see in the fourth set that he was tired and unable to play the same way.

“I was able to add speed and finish the match.”

Rublev, 25, will face either third-seeded compatriot Daniil Medvedev or 13th-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur.

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