‘I hate being the guy who is injured a lot’: British starlet Jack Draper left devastated after shoulder injury forces him to serve underarm before retiring on his French Open senior debut
- Jack Draper saw his French Open senior debut derailed by injury on Monday
- He started feeling soreness in his shoulder while serving in practice on Sunday
- The 21-year-old mixed underarm with conventional serves in first round match
Jack Draper was left devastated after his Roland Garros senior debut was derailed by a new injury.
The 21-year-old has had a problem with scar tissue in his hip and, more recently, a niggling ab problem.
He revealed later that he had started feeling soreness in his shoulder while serving in practice on Sunday.
Before long he was mixing underarm with conventional serves, and actually recovered the loss of an early break in the process before quitting at 4-6, 0-1 against Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
‘I hate being the guy who is injured a lot,’ admitted the 21 year-old southpaw. ‘ It’s difficult. Mentally, it’s extremely tough, tougher than playing and losing almost. Because you’re just coming back fighting from injuries.
Jack Draper (above) saw his French Open senior debut derailed by a new injury on Monday
He had started feeling soreness in his shoulder while serving in practice on Sunday
‘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, ‘I’m not retiring from another match’. I don’t want to do this. Even if I had to play three sets underarm I don’t care I just wanted to play.
‘But there’s no point in making this worse. I don’t think it’s going to be anything serious. I’ve just got a really flared up tendon. I think I’ll be more than fine for Wimbledon.’
He estimated that he has not had a proper run of full health since going into the US Open last summer.
‘Sometimes it just takes a bit of a while to get some momentum and get on a roll. It is difficult to have trust in my body right now. But I’m 21, I just need a bit of confidence and bit of a breakthrough with it. I’m sure I will. My tennis is there, it’s just my body that’s letting me down a little bit at the moment. But it will come.’
The grass court season will start next week and – if this is not a lingering problem – he will go into it having played just four tournaments since January, with three mid-match retirements in the past nine months.