Australia’s Jordan Thompson has had a great year on the ATP Challenger tour reaching seven finals and winning two, including the title in Traralgon, VIC last weekend. He is on track to reach his third final in as many weeks. After reaching the semis his ranking is set to rise to no. 83, with a final win it will jump to around no. 72.
Thompson is yet to drop a set on his march into the Apis Canberra International semifinals. The tournament is a $75,000 ATP Challenger event. In the quarterfinals, he defeated fellow Australian Blake Ellis 6-3, 6-1.
The quarterfinals were played in difficult conditions with very gusty winds moving the ball. Last week the semifinal at Traralgon was played in similar conditions and Thompson showed he can master those conditions.
Ellis had come through a titanic battle in the previous round when he defeated Luke Saville over three tie-break sets. In the match against Thompson the world no. 454 struggled to keep the ball in play.
“It’s good to keep it rolling,” he said. “Tricky conditions but I managed to get through. It’s taken all year to pull some form so it’s definitely positive,” the 24-year-old said. “I’m feeling a little bit freer on court now.” Thompson said.
The no. 3 seed has been playing with strapping on his right thigh, but that does not seem to affect his movement.
Thompson was not happy with some calls at one point in the first set and took his frustration out on his racquet, smashing it to pieces. A racquet abuse warning followed.
The two other Australians that reached the quarterfinals were not able to advance. Jacob Grills the world no. 511 fought hard against France’s Maxime Janvier, but went down 7-6(5), 6-4. While Akira Santillan was forced to retire at 6-4, 2-0 against Spain’s world. no. 336 Nicola Kuhn. He wasn’t even sure he could start the match as he was troubled by left knee pain and was saying before the match he was not able to serve without pain.
In the remaining quarterfinal match it was an all-Japanese affair with last week’s beaten Traralgon finalist, world no. 91 Yoshihito Nishioka against world no. 233 Yosuke Watanuki. Nishioka showed that he can handle the windy conditions and he advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win.
Thompson faces world no. 238 Janvier in the first semifinal on centre court, with Nishioka and Kuhn to follow. Play starts at 11.00 am.
Janvier and Thompson recently faced each other at the $100,000 ATP Challenger event in Fairfield, USA in a round two match with Thompson winning in three sets.