Australia’s Jordan Thompson the world no. 63 faced world no. 90 Mikhail Kukushkin from Kazakstan for a spot in the US Open fourth round. Kukushkin was 1-0 in the head-to-head.
The 26-year-old Sydneysider was looking to reach a fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time. Thompson had previously reached the third round at Roland Garros in 2019.
In the opening set it was Kukushkin that got the first break to lead 3-2 however Thompson broke back immediately.
After games went with serve until Thompson was ahead 6-5, it was the Australian that took advantage of a break point to take the first set 7-5.
A wild Kukushkin forehand at 4-5, 15-15 gave Thompson a sniff at the second set.
A forehand into the net brought up two set points. Just one was required. Thompson played a patient point with my slice backhands and eventually it was Kukushkin that pushed a backhand wide.
At this stage of the match Thompson had hit 20 winner to 19. The unforced error count had Kukushkin at 30-19. Thompson had converted 4 from 7 break point opportunites, his opponent was 2 from 5.
After the second set Kukushkin grabbed his bag and left the court for treatment or to change. On his return Thompson held serve and then broke to move to a 2-0 lead.
Despite a double fault Thompson consolidated the break to move to within three games of the fourth round.
Kukushkin was looking down and out at this stage hitting three consecutive unforced errors and a forced error to fall behind 0-4.
In the second round the player from Kazakstan upset No.13 seed Cristian Garin in a five-set battle that lasted almost four hours.
Another service hold and Thompson was at 5-0. He hit three aces in that game, along with another unforced error from Kukushkin.
A forehand that clipped the net and sailed wide gave Thompson his first match point. Kukushkin held on with some good ball striking that had Thompson scrambling to stay in the point.
Back-to-back forehands into the net saw Kukushkin avoid a 6-0 scoreline.
Another ace on match point saw Thompson into the fourth round after a 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 victory. He ended with 26 winners.
Next up is the winner of the Stefanos Tsitsipas v Borna Coric match.