Australia’s Jordan Thompson has claimed his second ATP Challenger title for the year after defeating Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, 6-4 in the $75,000 tournament at Traralgon.
After winning the Chennai Challenger title in February this year, Thompson had reached five finals without adding another title. In his seventh ATP Challenger final he finally got the winner’s trophy. This result was made more impressive when you consider that fact that he had rushed to Australia after on Monday Australian time Thompson was playing in the Calgary ATP Challenger final against Ivo Karlovic.
Thompson opened the serving against Nishioka the world no. 98 and no. 2 seed for the tournament. He won that game comfortably. Nishioka was the first player to have a look at breakpoints after earning three in the third game after Thompson sent a smash well wide. The Australian saved three break points before giving Nishioka another chance. That time Thompson conceded the break after netting a backhand.
Thompson immediately broke back to be serving at 2-2. He served out the next game to love to lead 3-2. Another break followed for Thompson after Nishioka framed a forehand and sent the ball sailing long. Thompson took the first set after his opponent netted a shot.
As happened in the first set, Thompson was able to break his opponent twice while also conceding one break of serve. Thompson broke first in the third game to lead 2-1. He consolidated the break to move to a 3-1 lead but then in the sixth game he gave up three break points, Nishioka converted on the second when Thompson netted a shot. It was now 3-3.
Thompson had a look at another breakpoint in the seventh game but Nishioka saved that with some forceful play at the net. After a long rally, Nishioka gave up another breakpoint after just missing long with a shot. Again it was a bad mishit that saw Nishioka concede the break to give Thompson a 4-3 lead.
With Nishioka serving at 3-5 he faced a match point against him and he almost was out of the match then. He played a delicate drop volley that just landed on the line. He would hold and force Thompson to serve for the championship. Thompson was forced to fight off four break points before securing the win.
Thompson and Nishioka both head to Canberra for the next Challenger tournament on the calendar. Thompson with his Traralgon title moves up to no. 87 on the ATP rankings and Nishioka moves up to no. 91.