British tennis facing more woe at US Open as Draper adds to Murray uncertainty

British hopes at the upcoming US Open have been further thrown into doubt after Jack Draper retired from his second-round match in Wiston-Salem on Tuesday. It comes as Cameron Norrie is currently experiencing a dip in form while Andy Murray picked up an abdominal strain. And it could mean more disappointing results at a Grand Slam after Dan Evans slammed the state of British tennis during the French Open.

Draper retired from the Winston-Salem Open after losing the first set 7-6(8) to second seed Tallon Griekspoor in round two. A day earlier, the 21-year-old needed just 55 minutes to win his opening match. Draper was playing just the second tournament of his comeback from a shoulder injury and gave no reason for his retirement. 

It’s bad news with the US Open now just days away as the world No 118 had already been forced to miss his home tournament at Wimbledon earlier this summer. And it makes Draper the latest British man to have question marks around them going into Flushing Meadows.

There are also injury fears for Murray, who pulled out of the recent Canadian Open ahead of his round-of-16 match with an abdominal issue. He then travelled to Cincinnati for last week’s Masters event but also ended up pulling out.

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Meanwhile, British No 1 Norrie has been struggling to put together match wins of late. The world No 16 is on a four-match losing streak with his most recent victory coming in the first round of Wimbledon. He has since lost his opening matches in Los Cabos, Toronto and Cincinnati.

And there are still questions about Evans, who was on a seven-match losing streak at ATP Tour level before he suddenly won the biggest title of his career at the Mubadala Citi DC Open at the start of this month. However, the British No 2 has since crashed out in the first round of both the Canadian and Cincinnati Masters.

The 33-year-old has previously been vocal in his thoughts on the state of British tennis, especially at the French Open where no British woman made it into the main draw. Evans himself lost in the first round in Paris while Murray didn’t play, Draper retired from his opening match with a shoulder injury and Norrie made it to the third round.

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US Open tennis makes its long-awaited return to Sky Sports and it’s certainly not something to be missed.

Sky Sports subscribers on Sky Glass, Sky Stream, Sky Q, and the Sky Sports app will be able to watch all courts for the first time on Sky Sports.

Want to watch the US Open Tennis but don’t own Sky?

Never fear as you can get Sky Glass, Sky TV, Netflix for £14 a month for six months – thanks to a limited time deal.

You can also get six months Sky Sports completely free.

“Has her success papered over the cracks? Yeah,” the world No 28 said of Emma Raducanu. “We’ve been lucky, or they’ve been lucky that they had a Grand Slam champion and she was a very good tennis player but the rankings don’t lie, do they? Men’s or women’s, the rankings don’t lie. Men, not many of us playing qualies, not many in the main draw. I don’t want to sound like a broken record. But there’s way further to go than just the top players. It’s from the bottom up.”

And at Wimbledon, Liam Broady was the only man to reach the third round. All of the British men were eliminated from the tournament by day five, with Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie playing and losing their delayed second-round matches as Broady lost on the same day.  “Obviously I’d have preferred for us all to have won. Probably would have felt a bit better if we’d staggered what days we lost on, whereas now it’s a bit of a Debbie Downer, isn’t it?” the British No 4 said afterwards.

While Draper’s latest retirement has only added to the question marks surrounding the British men in New York, the women could be primed to have a good tournament. Katie Boulter is currently at a career-high of No 60 in the world and, alongside Jodie Burrage, both made it into the US Open main draw off their own rankings.

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