Jack Draper crashes out of French Open to world number 176 Jesper De Jong

British number two Jack Draper suffered his worst Tour level defeat in his longest ever match as he crashed out in the first round on day one of the French Open.

The 22-year-old was a hot favourite to see off Dutch qualifier Jesper De Jong, a player ranked 137 places beneath him at 176 in the world, but he was beaten in five sets over four hours and six minutes.

Draper looked like he would be out in time for Sunday lunch in Paris after he slipped 2-0 behind.

Draper was expected to ease through his opening round
Draper was expected to ease through his opening round (John Walton/PA)

Yet, despite appearing to be gasping for air at times, he managed to take the third set after a tie-break and then move 4-1 ahead in the fourth before a 90-minute rain delay offered some respite.

Draper had only played in one five-set match before, a victory over Marcos Giron in Australia this year, after which he was sick in a bin on the court.

When they returned Draper duly levelled the match but 23-year-old De Jong just would not go away in the decider.

Draper was furious after being given a code violation as he served at break point down and promptly served up his ninth double fault to gift De Jong the match 7-5 6-4 6-7 (3) 3-6 6-3.

“Obviously very frustrated,” he admitted afterwards. “I battled my way back, started playing a decent level. There was a lot of ebbs and flows in the match. That’s five-set tennis. I’m kind of learning that the more I play.”

Draper revealed the serve that let him down so badly is currently being revamped by him and his team, including new coach Wayne Ferreira.

“My serve has been a problem this year,” he added. “I’m trying to change it to make it better, and obviously I’ve made those changes in the last few weeks. So it’s not comfortable, especially in a grand slam playing in a fifth set on a second serve.

“You know, the confidence isn’t there at the moment on my serve, and it’s a problem I’m going to have to work on with coaches and see where I can make it more consistent because, yeah, it’s really letting me down.”