Jack Draper vomited into a courtside bin after overcoming struggles with the Melbourne heat to defeat Marcos Giron at the Australian Open in his first ever five-set match.
It is a measure of how inexperienced the 22-year-old still is at the highest level that he had never previously played a match that went the distance, and he looked in serious trouble at two sets to one down against American Giron.
But Draper has been working hard on his physical conditioning and it paid off as he fought back to win 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-0 6-2 after three hours and 20 minutes.
— LTA (@the_LTA) January 16, 2024
As soon as he had shaken hands with Giron after a final gruelling rally he ran to the bin to be sick, and it was several minutes before he was able to walk off the court.
He will now have to try to recover for a second-round match, against 14th seed Tommy Paul, on Thursday, when temperatures are at least forecast to be much lower.
It was early afternoon when Draper and Giron took to a baking Court Eight under a cloudless sky.
The British number four only arrived in Melbourne on Saturday night after reaching his second ATP Tour final in Adelaide, meaning he was full of confidence but also potentially jaded.
The match was dominated by punishing rallies from the start, with Draper getting the better of five straight breaks of serve and narrowly hanging on to his advantage.
But the momentum began to swing Giron’s way in the second set as the physicality of the match took its toll on Draper.
After Giron levelled the match, the 22-year-old called the trainer to have his pulse taken and blood pressure checked.
He carried on but was unable to chase down the sort of shots he had got to in the first set and his race looked run when Giron opened up a two sets to one lead.
Win and then hit the bin 😳 pic.twitter.com/9Zom8yV7zz
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) January 16, 2024
He took another off-court break to change his clothes and came out for the fourth set with a game plan to up the aggression and shorten the points.
It worked superbly, a mixture of thumping groundstokes and feathered drop shots taking California’s Giron, who had appeared untroubled by the heat, out of his comfort zone.
Draper raced through the set, putting him into uncharted territory, but, with shade finally creeping across the court, both his game and his body just about held up to carry him through to his first victory at Melbourne Park.