Jordan Thompson earned one of the biggest scalps of his journeyman’s career on Friday with a 7-6 (0), 4-6, 7-6 (5) upset of Indian Wells Masters second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Australian ranked 87th previously scored a big victory when he defeated another Top 10 player – Andy Murray – in 2017.
The upset means Tsitsipas has now lost his chances this month to possibly move into the top ATP ranking spot ahead of absent Novak Djokovic, banned from the US for being unvaxxed for COVID.
Thompson took advantage of the fragile form of Tsitsipas, who last competed nearly a month ago in Rotterdam due to a shoulder injury.
The European had said coming into the first Masters of the season that he held out little hope for a decent showing here.
Thompson made sure that dire prediction came true, striking 41 winners in a victory which ran for more than two and a half hours. He lost just two points on serve in the opening set.
“It was unreal, this is one of my favourite events,” the Aussie said.
“”To win like this is incredible, I’m really happy.
“The key was to stay aggressive and take control of my serve -there was nothing I could do about his serve, he’s such a big, powerful guy.
“I wasn’t finding too much rhythm there on return towards the end but snuck one out. I stayed aggressive on serve.
“I’m very thankful that last ball (match point) went wide,” said the first round conqueror of Gael Monfils.