Jack Draper is out of the US Open after retiring at 3-6 6-4 5-6 against Karen Khachanov.
The in-form 20-year-old was having a fine run at Flushing Meadows having knocked out Emil Ruusuvuori and No. 6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the opening two rounds.
However, despite taking the second set and going 4-2 up in the third set, a hamstring injury affected the Brit badly. At 6-5 down, the Brit decided to retire from the match.
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"It was just the top of my hamstring," Draper said in his post-match press conference. "Like the insertion between the hamstring and the groin.
"I've had problems with it before, and maybe this time it was just a lot of tennis I've played in the last seven weeks maybe just caught up a little bit on me.
"I think I did it at 2-0 in the third [set]. I went out to a wide ball and I just felt a twinge. I feel like when you strain something, and getting worse, there is just no going back from that, really.
"Especially at this level you can't compete if you're injured, you know. So, yeah, it was a tough one."
Draper revealed that he almost quit tennis in 2020 during Covid-19 lockdown and is "very proud" of the progress he has made since then.
He added: "I think in terms of reflecting, I can be very positive about the year I've had so far as well. When I look back in probably 2020, I was thinking about stopping tennis during Covid. So to think I'm here now and I've broken the top-50 this week, I'm very proud of myself.
"I think I'm so happy to have amazing people around me to help me do it."
Draper struggled in the opening set as Khachanov dictated the early exchanges and broke the Brit early on before holding to lead 3-0.
Khachanov enjoyed a glorious service game and some punishing forehands to regain his three-game advantage after Draper got on the board, then luckily holding as he attempted to stay in the set thanks to an overhit Khachanov backhand.
Trouble loomed for Draper when he was dragged from 40-15 to deuce as he attempted to stay in the set, but more dominance from Khachanov’s service game inevitably earned the Russian the lead.
It was deja vu in the second set for Draper when Khachanov secured the early break at the second time of asking, but the Brit showed some grit this time around to register an instant break of his own and draw level.
The 20-year-old quickly settled into the set and sensationally pulled the match square when he snatched the second set 6-4. He peppered Khachanov with some big hits, and wrapped up the set with a second set point.
The tables turned in the third set as Draper flew out of the blocks, winning the key battles to secure three games in quick succession to make it five on the spin, enjoying an early break of his own.
He went on to lose his break as Khachanov clawed his way back into the tie to get the game back on serve, at which point Draper called for a medical timeout to attend to an issue with his right hamstring.
The Brit went on to resist three break points to consolidate at 5-2, but began to struggle physically as a rapid hold followed for Khachanov.
Despite the convincing lead for Draper, it was clear he couldn’t perform to the standard that saw him race ahead in the third set, and eventually retired as Khachanov wrapped up the third set.
The Russian will play Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round.
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