Jordan Thompson falls short of emulating Lleyton Hewitt in brutal development before Wimbledon

The Aussie tennis star put together a remarkable run to reach the semi-finals at Queen's.

Jordan Thompson has fallen short of emulating Aussie tennis icon Lleyton Hewitt by winning the prestigious Queen's tournament, having rocked the tournament in defeating Taylor Fritz in the quarter-final stage. Thompson is on a remarkable run on his favourite surface having defeated No.7 seed Holger Rune, Andy Murray and No.4 seed Fritz.

Thompson had never reached a semi-final in an ATP 500 event and faced arguably his toughest competition so far with the big serving American one of the favourites to win the tournament. But the Aussie continued to upset the giants having won in straight sets to set up a clash with Italian Lorenzo Musetti - who defeated Alex de Minaur - in the final four.

Jordan Thompson (pitcured left) is seeking to emulate Aussie tennis icon Lleyton Hewitt (pictured right) in winning the prestigious Queens tournament after reaching the semi-final. (Getty Images)
Jordan Thompson (pitcured left) is seeking to emulate Aussie tennis icon Lleyton Hewitt (pictured right) in winning the prestigious Queens tournament after reaching the semi-final. (Getty Images)

Unfortunately for the Aussie his giant-killing run came to an end in the semis, succumbing 6-3 3-6 6-3 and suffering a back injury in the process. Thompson had planned to fly to Mallorca after Queen's to play in one final warm-up tournament before Wimbledon. But with the extent of his injury yet to be determined, he admitted: "Probably 99 per cent no. I'll get ready for Wimbledon and get healthy."

The 30-year-old has enjoyed a rollercoaster season so far having won his first ATP title in 11 years in April, before a shocking clay-court season. "I'm getting old now, it just goes to shows that if you stick at it long enough you can keep improving, whatever age you are, and I feel like I'm getting better," he said after his win over Fritz.

Jordan Thompson celebrates his win.
Jordan Thompson (pictured) defeated No.4 seed Taylor Fritz at Queen's Club.

Thompson had never defeated Fritz, but the American looked below his best as he struggled with his footing at Queen's. Regardless, Thompson showed his experience on grass as he was able to defeat Fritz in less than 80 minutes in front of a stunned crowd.

"It was extremely solid," he said after the match. "It's probably one of the toughest tournaments in the world, so to come through to the semis is extremely pleasing, especially after I've had a rough run recently."

Thompson didn't record a win in April having played on the unfamiliar clay courts. And the Aussie admitted he feels more at home on grass. "A green surface. It's not brick dust - I much more prefer this one," Thompson said of his turnaround in form.

Thompson was looking to become the first Aussie since Hewitt in 2006 to win Queen's. He also joined four Australians to reach the semi-final since 2016. Alex de Minaur has finished runner-up at Queen's twice since 2016, while Nick Kyrgios made the final four in 2018. Bernard Tomic reached the final four in 2016. The last Aussie winner was Hewitt when he defeated James Blake in the final.

While Thompson is the second highest ranked Aussie tennis star after de Minaur, the World No.43 is set to skip the Paris Olympics. This is due to his form on clay and the Aussie will look to work on his own game as others represent the nation.

"I love representing my country, everybody knows that," Thompson added after reaching the semi-final of Queens Club. "But clay is clearly not my favourite surface. (The Olympics) is back in Europe when the season of tennis is actually in America and getting ready to play the US Open.

"We're coming off the grass going into the hard courts in America. Newport (on grass) and Atlanta (on hard courts), it's their last year as tournaments, and I really enjoy playing on the grass. So I don't want to give up playing on grass and then coming back to play on clay, which is my worst surface by a mile.


"It's a pretty easy decision for me. I'd probably have to stay in Europe and play on clay if I really wanted to give the Olympics a fair crack. But I'm defending points from having reached the quarter-finals in Washington last year, and I'm trying to get seeded at a grand slam."

Max Purcell is another Aussie, who could have represented Australia in the doubles or singles, to skip the Olympic Games. De Minaur will represent the nation in Paris after Wimbledon having been in stunning form on all surfaces in 2024.