Jack Draper’s run at the US Open is over after eighth seed Andrey Rublev proved too strong for the Briton in the fourth round on Monday.
The 21-year-old was the last of seven Brits standing in the singles at Flushing Meadows, having reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time.
But the British No 5, ranked 123 in the world after a spate of injuries, was eventually outplayed by Rublev in a sticky encounter under the roof of Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Russian advancing 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4.
Rublev will face Daniil Medvedev or Alex de Minaur on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals – the pair who are last up on Louis Armstrong on Monday.
How Draper’s dreams were dashed
Draper made the fourth round of a slam for the first time when overcoming Michael Mmoh on Saturday, and he headed into this match-up with Rublev as the big underdog.
Rublev has reached eight Grand Slam quarter-finals already, and though he is yet to make a semi-final he is well accustomed to putting together a string of runs at the majors.
But Draper was more than a match early on, bringing up break point in the first game, only for Rublev to save it with a winner before battling to hold.
The rallies were fierce, with five winners in the opening game alone, and Rublev’s quality eventually shone through in the first set as a backhand return helped him break Draper in the fourth game.
Rublev maintained that advantage to take the set after 36 minutes, while Draper began to look visibly frustrated with his own game as the errors started to creep in.
Come the second set, Draper fought to stay on serve, saving four break points in the third game and rallying the crowd for support as he looked to keep his hopes alive. He went on to hold, prompting Rublev to roar in anger after a couple of close calls did not go his way.
Draper broke a game later thanks to a Rublev double fault, his second of the game that prompted a furious reaction, and the Briton served out for the set to level the match despite his own frustrations with a series of let calls.
A lengthy break off-court then appeared to help Draper further, the former world No 38 breaking immediately in the third set as he looked to make the most of Rublev’s struggles.
But impressively Rublev hit back, bringing it back on serve at 2-2, almost breaking again in the sixth game, and doing so in the eighth, going on to take the set 6-3.
Draper had never played five sets at a Grand Slam, but knew that would be required if he was to win here, while Rublev zeroed in on dispatching his plucky opponent in four.
Having given himself a 70-30 chance of playing this tournament due to a shoulder injury that forced him to retire from Winston-Salem on August 22, Draper started to look understandably leggy, and sensing a chance Rublev broke to love in the fifth game.
Rublev then had two chances on the Draper serve to seal the match, and though they came and went, the Russian closed out the match in the 10th game.
“Since the first point, I was feeling the ball really well, but Jack was also playing well,” Rublev said on-court. “I was able to break and thought ‘okay, let’s make it a physical match’ because Jack is coming back from injury.
“I was able to add extra speed and finish the match. It’s a special feeling.”
Henman: Draper just scratching the surface
Former British No 1 Tim Henman on Sky Sports:
“It has been a very good tournament for Jack and he will take away so much from this… the physicality, the intensity and what it takes mentally to play these kinds of matches.
“For me, he is just scratching the surface. He is still new at this level and he’s had a lot of difficulties off the court with injuries.
“If he can build that resilience physically then he will be back at the fourth round of Grand Slams soon and going even further.”
The US Open on Sky Sports: How and where to watch
Sky welcomes tennis back to its channels, adding to the existing sports portfolio and reaffirming the broadcaster as the home of live sport in the UK & Ireland.
Sky Sports’ new mixed reality studio features multiple custom built LED screens, integrated light ‘sabres’, and an open canopy roof, making the space alive with colour and energy to reflect the vibrancy of the last Grand Slam of the year.
With integrated AR capabilities, a versatile LED floor, and a ‘fourth wall’, the viewer will be transported to the Arthur Ashe Stadium in a 360-degree immersive environment. Our tennis experts will take the viewer into the eyes of the players for expert Hawkeye analysis and insight as the tournament progresses.
The technology involved allows us to add an entire new dimension and will bring customers closer to the action.
Highlights of matches will be available across Sky Sports TV and our social media platforms.
Video highlights will also be available of the Sky Sports website and app, where there will also be a daily live text commentary on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as live scores, reports, analysis and features.