Draper's Debut Run Continues After Monfils Retirement
The #NextGenATP Briton led 6-2, 0-2 on Court Central when Monfils suffered a foot injury in what was his first ATP Tour appearance since Madrid in May. The Frenchman appeared to reaggravate an issue for which he underwent a small procedure later that month.
After a medical timeout, Monfils stepped back on the court with intentions to play, but retired before hitting another ball after a courtside discussion with his team.
"I know what it's like to do an ankle," a subdued Draper said post-match. "I did one last year and rebounded. I hope Gael is alright. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season. I guess to be in the quarter-finals is nice for myself, but it's never how you want it to happen."
After upsetting third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas late Wednesday night to earn his first Top 10 win, Draper backed it up with a clean opening set against Monfils. He did not face a break point in the opener and converted on his two chances to ease into the lead.
The 20-year-old qualifier dropped serve in the second game of set two but created a 15/30 opening on return before Monfils' injury.
With just two tour-level wins to his name entering 2022, Draper is through to his third ATP Tour quarter-final and his first at the ATP Masters 1000 level at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers.
"On Tour, sometimes it's your week," he said of his breakthrough. "If you train hard every day and keep your head down, I suppose these things happen. I'm very happy to be in the quarter-finals here. It means a lot."
After his win against Tsitsipas ended after midnight local time, Draper will be pleased to get off the court before sunset.
"The most important thing is to just to get a good sleep now," he said, looking ahead to his quarter-final against Pablo Carreno Busta. "I finished last night very late. I came out today and spoke to my coach and we were thinking it was going to be a tough mental challenge today to come out here and be all there. But I think I did a good job of that and hopefully tomorrow I can put a little bit of pressure [on my opponent]."
Carreno Busta used a dominant serving performance to upset seventh seed Jannik Sinner 6-2, 6-4 without facing a break point. The Spaniard was three of five on his own break chances and was pushed as far as deuce just once, in his opening service game.
Through to his fourth quarter-final of 2022 and his first of the year on hard courts, Carreno Busta improved to 2-1 in his ATP Head2Head series against Sinner while dropping the Italian to 17-4 this season on hard courts. Both men were seeking a first quarter-final at the Canadian ATP Masters 1000 event.
Daniel Evans defeated Taylor Fritz for the second time in as many weeks early Thursday evening, claiming a 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-5 win on Court 9. After Fritz retired in the third set of the pair's Washington matchup last week, the American fought to the end in Montreal. The 10th seed denied Evans on his first attempt to serve out the match at 5-4 in the decider, though the Briton played his part with three ad-side double faults into the net.
But Evans responded with an instant break back and made no mistake in his second attempt to book his quarter-final place on serve.
He will next face another American in Tommy Paul, who earned a 6-4, 6-2 result against 13th seed Marin Cilic, saving four break points in his final service game. Paul saved a match point to stun Carlos Alcaraz on Thursday in the second round.