British teenager Jack Draper says he “needs to improve physically” after retiring on his ATP Tour debut following a dramatic fall in Miami.
Draper, who had earlier received medical treatment, seemed to collapse as he chased a return on a set point against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin.
Speaking later, the 19-year-old said he had tripped after feeling dizzy.
Meanwhile, British women’s number one Johanna Konta earned only her second win of 2021 in the WTA event.
Konta, seeded 17th and given a first-round bye, won 6-4 7-5 against Poland’s Magda Linette in the second round.
Konta had not played since losing in the Adelaide International four weeks ago and, although it was not a straightforward victory with Linette threatening a fightback in the second set, the 29-year-old reasserted control to earn a morale-boosting victory.
“It was hot, it was windy, so it was a lot of things out there to contend with,” she said. “I was just really pleased that I was able to compete well and find a way to come through.”
World number one Ashleigh Barty, playing her first match outside Australia for more than a year, fought back from 5-2 down in the deciding set to win 6-3 4-6 7-5 against Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova.
Konta’s victory came shortly after the worrying scenes which saw Draper’s tour-level debut come to a concerning end.
The British teenager had looked confident as he pushed 33-year-old Kukushkin, before starting to struggle physically towards the end of the first set and calling for the doctor.
Draper, who was trailing 6-5 on serve in the hot conditions, was examined by the medic and had his heart-rate checked before deciding to continue.
Draper fell to the court as he chased a return on set point in the next game and medical staff quickly came on to tend to the London-born player.
He was sitting up with an ice pack on his neck moments later and was able to walk off court.
“I think the conditions got on top of me a little bit today and physically I just need to improve more,” said Draper, who also revealed he had coronavirus in January.
“I’ve got a lot to improve on but my level seems to be pretty close.”
Later on Thursday, British men’s number five Liam Broady lost 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 to Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.