Jack Draper eyeing first grand slam quarter-final after overcoming injury fears

Jack Draper arrived at the US Open simply hoping to stay fit, yet now he is chasing a place in the quarter-finals.

The British number four, 21, has endured an injury-hit year and slipped from a career-high ranking of 38 to outside the top 100.

A shoulder injury saw him miss Wimbledon and threatened his participation at Flushing Meadows.

US Open Tennis
Jack Draper is through to the last 16 of the US Open (Manu Fernandez/AP)

Yet despite serving within himself in a bid to manage the problem, Draper is the only British player reach the last 16 after winning a tight four-set battle with American Michael Mmoh 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-3 on Saturday.

And having reached the second week of a grand slam for the first time, Draper is now looking to go even further.

“I mean, when I am playing, I’m not here just to be here and be happy to play. I’m a competitor when I get into the matches. I want to win everything,” he said.

“Definitely at the start of the week, there was real concern about my body and with the year I’ve had, whether I’d be able to play one match.

“Obviously it’s the best-of-five sets, so it’s completely different to what a three-set match even holds.

“You know, we just wanted to stay fit this trip. That was kind of the goal, you know, to get consistent competition in, because that’s just something I haven’t had.

“To come here this week and to play the way I have and to compete the way I have and for my body to hold up has been, it’s been pretty special for me, really.”

Draper faces Andrey Rublev, the combustible Russian eighth seed, for a place in the last eight.

US Open Tennis
Andrey Rublev (pictured) is next up for Jack Draper (Adam Hunger/AP)

“He’s been top 10 for many years, having great results, consistently doing well in the slams and won his first 1000 event this year,” added Draper.

“Anyone who you play in the fourth round, I suppose they’ve won three matches and they’re playing good tennis and feeling good out here, so it will be really difficult either way.”