Aussie Thompson shocks third-ranked Tsitsipas at Indian Wells
Unseeded Australian Jordan Thompson shocked third-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6, (7/0), 4-6, 7-6 (7/5) on Friday, his second career win over a top 10 player putting him into the third round at Indian Wells.
Thompson, 28 and ranked 87th in the world, secured the upset when a blistering forehand from Tsitsipas landed just wide on the first match point.
"I'm thankful that last ball was out -- I thought it was in," Thompson told fans on court.
He gained his first victory over Tsitsipas in three career meetings, ending the Greek player's chances of rising to number one in the world over the course of the "Sunshine Double" of Indian Wells and the following Miami Open, both joint WTA and ATP Masters 1000 events.
For Tsitsipas it was another setback in the wake of his run to the Australian Open final in January.
He departed Melbourne energized despite falling to Novak Djokovic in the title match, but shortly thereafter suffered a shoulder injury.
Playing his first tournament since a second-round exit at Rotterdam, Tsitsipas admitted earlier this week that with his shoulder still troubling him he didn't have high hopes of a third Masters 1000 crown.
Thompson, who defeated French veteran Gael Monfils in the first round, next faces either US 32nd seed Maxime Cressy or Chilean qualifier Alejandro Tabilo.
"It's unreal," he said, crediting an aggressive mindset in the first set with putting him on the path to victory.
While Tsitsipas led the third-set tiebreaker 2-1 and 4-3, Thompson held his nerve and Tsitsipas was the one to blink, slamming a forehand into the net before the near miss on the final point.