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Jack Draper retires from Mexican Open semi-final due to illness

Jack Draper retires from Mexican Open semi-final due to illness
© Reuters
Great Britain's Jack Draper retires ill from his Mexican Open semi-final with Alex de Minaur, who will take on Casper Ruud in the final.

Great Britain's Jack Draper retired from his Mexican Open semi-final with Alex de Minaur on Friday due to illness.

The 22-year-old was trailing 3-6 6-2 0-4 when he was forced to call it quits, thereby prolonging his wait for a maiden ATP Tour crown as De Minaur progressed to face Casper Ruud in the final.

"I'm happy to be in the final, but I'm hoping that Jack is doing fine," De Minaur said during his on-court interview. "It's hard to play when your opponent is not OK physically, but you need to remain focused.

"I think those are the types of situations which are the hardest to control as a player, because you're stuck in two minds. He has a tremendous talent and hopefully he can recover for the upcoming tournaments."

The third meeting between Draper and De Minaur - who had prevailed in their first two battles - marked the former's maiden ATP 500 semi-final, but a couple of unforced errors allowed De Minaur to earn the first break in the fifth game.

The Australian repeated the trick while Draper was serving to stay in the set, and the Briton's illness began to plague him in the second set, where both a physiotherapist and doctor came onto the court to attend to him.

Despite his bug, Draper found a sixth gear and roared into a 5-1 lead in the second set, and while De Minaur convincingly held to stay in the set with three successive aces, the Australian would be taken to a decider.

However, Draper was unable to match his previous intensity at the start of the third set, where he was broken to 15 in both of his opening service games, registering three double faults and evidently struggling with his movement.

After falling 4-0 down in the deciding set, the world number 50 retired with one hour and 48 minutes on the board, meaning that De Minaur will defend his Mexican Open crown against Ruud in the final thanks to the Norwegian's three-set beating of Holger Rune.

Draper was one of two Britons scheduled for semi-final action this weekend, as Katie Boulter will play Emma Navarro in the final four of the San Diego Open thanks to her quarter-final success over Donna Vekic on Friday.

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