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Jordan Thompson detail comes to light amid Alex de Minaur's career-high rankings feat

The Aussie tennis player's feats have been somewhat overshadowed.

Jordan Thompson and Alex de Minaur.
Jordan Thompson has joined Alex de Minaur in rising to a new career-high ranking. Image: Getty

Lost in Alex de Minaur's rise to a career-high ranking of World No.9 is the fact another Aussie in Jordan Thompson has also broken new ground. De Minaur was confirmed as the new No.9 in men's tennis this week, breaking back into the top 10 after briefly leaving it after the Australian Open.

It marks a new career high for Australia's No.1 player after he went into Australian Open at No.10 - the first time an Aussie male had been that high since Lleyton Hewitt in 2006. The 25-year-old has now gone one better and has surged to No.9 after his run to the final at the Rotterdam Open.

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And while de Minaur has drawn all the headlines, Thompson has quietly surged to a new career high as well. Thompson moved up to No.40 in the rankings when they were updated on Monday, marking the first time in his career that he's been in the top 40.

The 29-year-old made the second round of the Australian Open where he went down gallantly to World No.11 Stefanos Tsitsipas, before making the quarter-finals at the Dallas Open and Delray Beach Open. He continued his solid form with a 6-4 6-3 win over Jordan Thompson and Alex de Minaur in Los Cabos on Wednesday.

Thompson has moved up two places in the rankings to break new ground for his career. He is now the second-highest ranked Australian player behind de Minaur, with the Aussies boasting eight male players in the top 100. Alexei Popyrin was 46th in the latest rankings, joining Max Purcell (51), Chris O'Connell (65), Aleksander Vukic (72), Rinky Hijikata (79) and James Duckworth (98).

Thanasi Kokkinakis (103) fell outside the top 100 in the latest update, but moved back up to 93 in the live rankings on Tuesday with a win at the Los Cabos Open. After a crushing first-round loss in Florida last week, Kokkinakis beat Jack Draper 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in the opening round in Mexico.

Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Los Cabos Open.
Thanasi Kokkinakis in action against Jack Draper at the Los Cabos Open. (AFP via Getty Images)

Aussie tennis players shine at overseas tournaments

The Aussie had only won three of seven matches in a difficult start to 2024, with two of those victories coming in qualifying at Delray Beach. He had lost his one and only previous clash with Draper - a three-setter in the Davis Cup Finals last year - but overcame a slow start in a brilliant comeback victory on Tuesday.

Purcell had earlier scored a 6-4 4-6 6-4 win over Matteo Arnaldi - the man who helped Italy beat Australia in the Davis Cup final last year. Purcell had fewer winners and made more unforced errors, but booked his spot in the second round with a fighting display.

And O'Connell beat a top-25 opponent for the first time in 10 months, knocking Jan-Lennard Struff out of the Qatar Open 6-4-6-4. Ranked 40 places lower than his German opponent, O'Connell booked himself a second round match by winning in an hour-and-a-half.

The Aussie broke twice in the first set to establish a 5-2 lead, and the Aussie served it out on the second attempt. He then broke in the fifth game of the second set and held on to the advantage to earn a second round meeting with Emil Ruusuvuori, who beat qualifier Giulio Zeppieri 7-6 (7-2) 7-5.

It marked O'Connell's best result since he stunned Alexander Zverev in Munich last April. The Sydneysider lost all of his next six next matches against top-25 opponents before Tuesday's win.

Chris O'Connell.
Chris O'Connell at the Australian Open in January. (Kelly Defina via Getty Images)

Australian men's tennis players in top 100 (as at 21 February):

9 - Alex de Minaur

40 - Jordan Thompson

46 - Alexei Popyrin

51 - Max Purcell

65 - Chris O'Connell

72 - Aleksander Vukic

79 - Rinky Hijikata

98 - James Duckworth

with AAP

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