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Jack Draper, who was diagnosed with coronavirus earlier this year, was playing at the Miami Open on Thursday when he suddenly collapsed

By Jason Duaine Hahn
March 26, 2021 02:40 PM
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Tennis player Jack Draper is recovering after he collapsed during a match played under high temperatures at the Miami Open on Thursday.

A video, provided by Tennis TV, shows 19-year-old Draper falling to the ground as he attempted to return a shot from Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin. The incident happened during the first set of the match and Draper was quickly tended to by medical personnel. Temperatures reached as high as 80 degrees on Thursday, according to Weather.com.

According to News.com.au, the British tennis player had his heart-rate checked earlier in the set after appearing distressed, but ultimately decided to continue playing. After recovering, Draper said he began to feel unwell when the two opponents switched to different sides of the court.

"At the changeover, I was starting to feel my body a bit. I said that I'm going to carry on because I wasn't feeling faint," he said, according to the outlet. "But obviously when I got out there, that wasn't the case. On the last point, I didn't collapse."

"I actually just tripped because I was starting to feel really dizzy and stuff," Draper added.

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Credit: Tennis TV/YouTube

According to Sky Sports, Draper later told reporters that he was tested positive for COVID-19 in January.

"I didn't move a muscle and that was after pre-season as well, so I put in a really good pre-season and then I didn't play so it's been a rough start to the year," he said.

"I got it, it's obviously an extremely aggressive virus and you can catch it from anywhere, but I got it and it did affect me quite badly for seven days," Draper continued.

Draper left open the possibility that his bout with the respiratory virus had an effect on his condition at the tournament.

"I've put in loads of great training since then, so it's no excuse, but did it have an effect on me at the time? Probably," he said. "With a lot of these things you don't know how much it really affects you."

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Draper said he will be flying back to the U.K. to play in another tournament.

After the match's end, Kukushkin complimented Draper's skill and understood the difficulty of playing under high temperatures.

"I believe he's a good player, young," he said, according to The Guardian. "It was a tough match, really tough conditions today. So hot and humid and really slow. I've never played in such slow conditions. The balls after one or two games started getting so big. You needed so much energy to just hit over the net. Every single game was deuce, such long rallies."