Rising British star Jack Draper suggested that dealing with COVID-19 in January might have contributed to him collapsing on the court at the Miami Masters on Thursday. Draper struggled with the heat and humidity before collapsing onto the court and chair umpire called the match for his opponent Mikhail Kukushkin.
"I was out for two weeks with COVID in January," Draper said, per Sky Sports. "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.
"I found out that I had COVID at a time when I was at the NTC, but whether it came from there I have no idea. For the record I thought, whatever has been said, the LTA [Lawn Tennis Association] has done an incredible job of handling the COVID situation.
"There were lots of precautions in place and I thought they handled it really well.' '
Draper has had a rough start to the year
Draper failed to make it past the Potchefstroom Challenger qualifying, before qualifying for the Potchefstroom Challenger 2 a week later.
At the Potchefstroom Challenger 2, Draper was beaten in the first round. The Briton then picked up a first round loss at a Futures event and a quarterfinal showing at a Futures event, before collapsing against Kukushkin in his Miami opener.
"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. I had bad symptoms and then I recovered pretty quickly from there, but it definitely had an effect on me,'' Draper added.
"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. With a lot of these things you don't know how much it really affects you."