Thompson sends Tsitsipas packing from Indian Wells Open
Jordan Thompson has ended all hopes of Stefanos Tsitsipas taking over the world No.1 ranking with an Indian Wells title, knocking off the Greek in a rousing three-set victory in the second round.
The Australian delivered a 7-6 (7-0) 4-6 7-6 (7-5) win on Friday to advance to the round of 32 at the Masters 1000 event.
Second-seed Tsitsipas told reporters on Wednesday he did not expect to make a deep run at the tournament due to his ailing shoulder and it was unclear how much he had left in the tank after he was blanked in the first set breaker.
But the Greek battled back and secured the only service break of the match in the second and pumped up the crowd ahead of the third set tiebreak.
But his overly aggressive play in the breaker, including a forehand on match point that missed the line by the slimmest of margins, was his undoing.
A beaming Thompson fired a ball high into the air in celebration after he notched his first win over Tsitsipas in three career meetings, and only his second over a top-10 player.
"It's unreal," Thompson said.
"At a Masters 1000, in the Indian Wells Tennis Garden here. It's one of my favourite tournaments, a lot of players' favourite tournaments, to play.
"To have a win like that is incredible. I'm really happy."
The 28-year-old Sydneysider, who beat French veteran Gael Monfils in straight sets in the opening round, will now meet Chilean qualifier Alejandro Tabilo in the round of 32.
Earlier, Cameron Norrie cruised past Taiwan's Tung-lin Wu 6-2 6-4 in second-round action.
Norrie, the 2021 champion, broke Wu four times en route to the win.
"Lots of good memories at Indian Wells," Norrie said. "It's nice to be through to the third round."
The 10th seed is off to a terrific start this year having beaten world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz in the Rio Open final last month to claim his fifth singles title.
Norwegian Casper Ruud's serve-forehand one-two punch proved too much for Diego Schwartzman as the third seed advanced 6-2 6-3 over a player who has given him trouble in the past.
"Everything sort of went my way," said Ruud, who now has four wins and five losses against the Argentine.
"Early on there were a couple of line shots and net cords that went my way, so I kind of felt that maybe today is my day."