Mathieu Belanger/Tennis Canada Gael Monfils
The surprising Jack Draper is playing the pro tournament of his life. He came into the National Bank Open presented by Rogers as a qualifier and has fought his way into the quarterfinals with a win over Gaël Monfils, who was forced to retire in the second set.
In the first set, Draper didn’t disappoint. He broke his opponent twice to win it 6-2.
Monfils had better momentum in the second set and even broke Draper to take a 2-0 lead, but it all came to a screeching halt when the Frenchman suffered a foot injury. Even after a lengthy medical time out, he was unable to return to the court.
The match ended 6-2, 0-2, as Draper joined the eight survivors.
“It’s very sad, and I wish him a speedy recovery,” he said after the match. “But I’ve been playing good tennis lately, and I don’t know where it’s going to end. It’s the first time I’ve reached the quarterfinals of a tournament of this magnitude, and I’m savouring the moment.”
Cilic not at his best
On Rogers Court, 25-year-old Tommy Paul of the US also punched his ticket for the quarters with a 6-4, 6-2 win over 33-year-old Marin Cilic (13) of Croatia, who was a far cry from the player who holds 20 ATP titles, including the US Open and the Cincinnati Masters.
It’s undeniable that Cilic has been plagued by injury in recent years, but he’s still capable of better tennis than he played today.
Paul will battle up-and-comer Daniel Evans of Great Britain.