Thompson stuns Nadal in massive Brisbane upset

IT had to be seen to be believed, but Australian Jordan Thompson caused a huge boilover against former number one and 22-time Grand Slam winner, Rafael Nadal in Brisbane. In what left the crowd a little lost for words, Thompson fought back from a tough first set loss to post an unbelievable win, 5-7 7-6 6-3 in three hours and 26 minutes.

The match looked to be going the way of Nadal’s throughout the first set despite Thompson going toe-for-toe with the Spanish star. After the veteran champion won the first set 7-5, the Aussie was able to go and re-focus to attack the second set. He did manage to take it to a tiebreaker, and then it got to 6-6 with pressure sky-high.

Despite Nadal playing some outstanding tennis, Thompson produced an unbelievable lunging volley at the net off the Spaniard’s serve despite being out of position to put it into the open court. Nadal could hardly believe his eyes. Thompson then went and won the set off his second serve with some ridiculous power shots, ending it with a devastating forehand winner.

Despite needing to save three match points in that set, Thompson’s confidence was now sky high, and he did not stop there, playing some incredible tennis across the three and a half hours to win the third set, 6-3 and secure the match and a spot in the semi-finals.

“I completely forgot I saved match points,” Thompson said post-match. “To beat Rafa at home, in Brisbane in a quarter-final. I think it’s my first semi-final on a hard court as well. I couldn’t be happier.”

Thompson hit a remarkable 47 winners against Nadal’s 38, while only hitting the 28 unforced errors to the Spaniard’s 29. Despite Nadal still playing at a high level and grinding consistently through the three sets, Thompson maintained his form and daring play to pick up the victory.

“He was one of my idols growing up,” Thompson said. “I loved Lleyton (Hewitt), loved Andy Murray, loved Rafa.

“It was special to share the court again and to take him down was a whole other feeling.”

Thompson is now the last remaining Aussie in the draw, and faces second seed Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals after Dimitrov knocked off Australian wildcard Rinky Hijikata in straight sets, 6-1 6-4.

“He’s in incredible form,” Thompson said of the world number 14.

“He had a great year with his ranking as well, he really pushed back up. He’s really on the right track.”

In the other results, top seed Holger Rune got passed the third Australian in the quarter finals, James Duckworth with a 6-2 7-6 victory, and will now take on Russian Roman Safiullin after her defeated Italian Matteo Arnaldi 7-6 6-2.


Chinese teenager Juncheng Shang continued his incredible wildcard run into the semi-finals with a 6-4 6-4 victory over third seed Frances Tiafoe with a 6-4 6-4. He weathered 12 aces of Tiafoe’s racquet to break twice from eight chances, and then save his only break point saved. Shang also won 76 and 79 per cent of his first and second serve points in a remarkable effort.

Shang will now face top seed Andrey Rublev in the semi-finals after overcoming Frenchman Arthur Fils in three sets, 6-4 1-6 6-2 in an hour and 52 minutes. In the other quarter finals, Austrian Sebastian Ofner defeated Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets 6-4 6-4, while Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori accounted for Russian Pavel Kotov, 6-3 7-6.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments