Jordan Thompson breaks through for 'unreal' six-year first against Stefanos Tsitsipas
Not since Queen's in 2017 has Jordan Thompson triumphed over a top-10 opponent.
Australian tennis star Jordan Thompson has secured a major upset at Indian Wells, bundling World No.2 Stefanos Tsitsipas out of the tournament in the second round. The win was the second of his tennis career against a top 10 ranked player, and his first since defeating Andy Murray at Queen's in 2017.
Fresh from a straight sets victory over Gael Monfils in the first round, Thompson was always going to have a fight on his hands against Australian Open runner-up Tsitsipas. However the Greek superstar was far from the player who made a serious tilt at the title at Melbourne Park earlier this year as he battled a shoulder injury throughout.
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An ultra close first set was blown apart in the tiebreak, with Thompson claiming the first set thanks after winning the tiebreak to love. Tsitsipas fought back to claim the second, but the Aussie simply had more juice, enough to claim an impressive 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 victory over the Greek star.
Thompson was disappointed after being knocked out of the Australian Open in the first round, but has showcased some impressive form in the weeks since then. He won the final of the Challenger Rome event late in February and has continued his good form at Indian Wells.
Unfortunately for Tsitsipas, the loss means he will have to wait until the French Open to get another chance to ascend to the World No.1 rank. Had he won both Indian Wells and the subsequent Miami Open, Tsitsipas would have supplanted Novak Djokovic as world's top ranked player.
“It’s unreal. At a Masters 1000, in the Tennis Garden here,” Thompson said of his victory. “It’s one of my favourite tournaments, I think a lot of players’ favourite tournaments to play. To have a win like that is incredible."
Thompson will now face the winner between Maxime Cressy or qualifier Alejandro Tabilo in the third round, the furthest he's progressed at the tournament. The 28-year-old cracked that he hadn't looked any further in the bracket after seeing Tsitsipas would be his second-round matchup.
“I haven’t even actually looked forward,” Thompson said. “I just saw my match today. I had a tough one in the first round as well, strange match with Monfils coming back. It’s been a tricky draw but I haven’t actually looked forward.”
ATP 1000 INDIAN WELLS R2: Thompson wins 7⁷-6⁰, 4-6, 7⁷-6⁵ against Tsitsipas
His first Top 10 win in 6 years. Incredible.
— Tennis Updates (@TennisUpdates23) March 10, 2023
Huge win!!! https://t.co/IstyO8Npx1
— Greg Jericho (@GrogsGamut) March 11, 2023
Jordan Thompson just beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(0) 4-6 7-6(5) at Indian Wells!
THAT’S MY GUY!!! 🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🔥🔥🔥#TennisParadise pic.twitter.com/WjzmFbxC6f
— Liam Glover (@liamgloverr) March 10, 2023
Wow. Stefanos Tsitsipas, 2nd seed in Indian Wells, OUT in the 2nd round vs. Jordan Thompson, 7-6(0), 4-6, 7-6(5).
Not sure how big is the impact of his shoulder injury…
Dimitrov, meanwhile, retired as well…
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) March 10, 2023
Credit to Thompson, but that was a waste of an Indian Wells Trip for Tsitsipas who was so far from anywhere close to the level we saw in January. It would certainly be smart for him to get his shoulder ready and come back in Monte Carlo - where he is the 2x defending Champion.
— Vansh (@vanshv2k) March 10, 2023
Aussies on fire at Indian Wells as crucial matches loom large
So far, Indian Wells has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Australian players this year. Joining Thompson in the third round is fellow Aussie Jason Kubler, who progressed thanks to opponent Grigor Dimitrov withdrawing in the third set of their match.
Thanasi Kokkinakis will be hoping to match Thompson's giant-killing feat when he takes on top seed Carlos Alcaraz, while Alex de Minaur faces Marton Fucsovics in their second-round clash. Also still in the runing is Rinky Hijikata, set to face 30th seed Sebastian Baez.
Yet another Aussie will face a top 10 opponent at Indian Wells when Alexei Popyrin takes on Hubert Hurcacz. Three-time grand slam winner Andy Murray remains unbeaten this season in matches that go to a deciding third or fifth set by coming back to beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-7 (7-5) 6-1 6-4 in a clash lasting more than three hours.
"I've been fighting my hardest. I really want to make the most of these last years that I've got," said the 35-year-old Murray. "I've managed to fight through some brutal matches. It's been incredible really. I don't want it to stop. I know it will at some stage but while it's going like this, might as well enjoy it."
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