Australia’s Jordan Thompson has reached his seventh ATP Challenger final for 2018. After reaching the final last week in Calgary Thompson has gone back-to-back after a 6-0, 4-6, 6-0 win over Marc Polmans in the semifinals of the Traralgon $75,000 tournament. From the seven finals, Thompson has just claimed one title. That came in the Chennai $50,000 tournament back in February.
It is the first time at Challenger level that Polmans has conceded two sets to love in the one match. The match was played with a strong crosswind.
Polmans was broken in the opening game of the first set and never recovered as he struggled to land his first serve. His serving percentage was just 38%. Polmans also struggled to keep the ball in play at times.
After seeing Thompson cruise to take the first set Polmans could have crumbled after seeing Thompson claim his 7th straight game when he broke immediately in the 1st game of set no. 2. Polmans did, however, hit back straight away to level the score at 1-1. Games went with serve until the 10th when Polmans was able to break to claim the second set 6-4.
Polmans had several game points in the opening game of the third set, but wasn’t able to close out and Thompson again had broken in the opening game of a set. Thompson consolidated the break by serving the next game to love.
Thompson hit a good stretch volley to break again for 3-0. He then saved three break points in the fourth game before taking the game for 4-0. Another break and Thompson was serving for the match. He got the job done and advanced to the final.
“It was good to come away with a win, it was very tough out there,” Thompson said after the 6-0 4-6 6-0 victory in the pair’s first meeting on the ATP Tour. “Interesting match and I’m just happy to get through it.
“The ball was moving around everywhere. I did well just to keep it together and push through.
“It turned into a battle (in the second set) and I just had to go back to what was working earlier. Credit to him, he played really well, he stuck around and made it difficult.”
In the second semifinal, Australia’s Alex Bolt faced the no. 2 seed from Japan Yoshihito Nishioka. The Japanese player is ranked at no. 98, with Bolt at no. 140. Nishioka recently won the Shenzhen ATP 250 title. In his most recent visit to Australia Nishioka lost in the first round at the Launceston and Playford Challenger events, he reached the quarterfinals at the Burnie Challenger.
It was Bolt who had the first break point opportunities with two coming in the second game. Nishioka held on for 1-1. Bolt then had to save a break point in the next game.
Bolt hit long to be broken in the fifth game to give his Japanese opponent a 3-2 lead. After going to 40-0 Nishioka was not able to hold his serve to let Bolt level the set at 3-3.
At 5-4 Bolt had three set points that he was not able to convert. From there Nishioka won three straight games to take the first set 7-5.
Bolt served a double fault at 30-40 in the fifth game to concede the only break in the second set. Nishioka did not concede a single break point in the second set and was able to take the match 7-5, 6-4.
Nishioka is 3-0 against Thompson across ATP tour and Challenger tour matches.