Thompson turns up the heat on Grills
Jacob Grills appeared to be in trouble early, his body language even during the warm-up signalling he wasn’t happy.
Some matches are won by brute force and fantastic winners. Some are lost because of inconsistent ball striking and mental lapses.
Jacob Grills appeared to be in trouble early, his body language even during the warm-up signalling he wasn’t happy. The Ocean Grove native, dressed in a red polo shirt, looked uncomfortable, checking his strings and rolling his shoulders with a grimace before losing his opening service game with a poor forehand volley into the net.
Confidence was the key, with both players needing a boost after their initial losses to begin the round-robin matches. Dressed in a lucky green T-shirt, Jordan Thompson had found the key ingredient quickly; much in thanks to the complications Jacob Grills was having with his own forehand. Before anybody had time to reflect, Thompson was up four games to love and Grills was seeing red after double faulting to lose his serve for a second time.
At this point Thompson took his foot off the gas while Grills found some form. Thompson’s serve was broken the very next game as Grills showed both glimpses of what he was capable of and a willingness to grind from the baseline.
The Grills first set revival was short lived. Thompson, again consistent from the back of the court, rounded out the set 6-2 as Grills buried his head into a towel.
The tension both players were experiencing early in the second set was not symbolic of the scoreline from the first. As Sydneysider Thompson inched ahead 2-1 in the second set, both players were now asking the heavens for answers. By this time the rallies had grown in uproar, velocity and variation forewarning a potential dogfight as Grills again squared up the set at two games apiece.
Seemingly unhappy with his current luck, Thompson changed racquet despite a string not being broken. The new racquet was brought into play just in time for a sixteen-ball rally that was won with an exquisite lob that Grills chased down to no avail.
Grills responded quickly with a service game to love that again levelled it. Now Thompson was screaming as an American in the crown prophesised, “This thing is going to a third.” Thompson had other plans, staying consistent, while Grills continued to mix masterful with unforced errors. Still, the American appeared to be right as the two players traded service games all the way to six games all.
The tiebreak was in many ways indicative of the whole match. Grills opened with a fine winner after a fourteen-ball rally, then succumbed with two unforced forehand errors. Thompson continued to stay savvy, Grills countered with a big serve then faltered with a double fault. Two big flat serves later and Thompson was at match point, leaving the courtside prophet silent, whereupon Grills presented with a double fault and the match.
On Court 6 Jay Andrijic of New South Wales outplayed sixth seed Omar Jasika 6-4 6-4 with glimpses of a net game borrowed from generations past “I played well and served and volleyed at crucial points. All up a good match” Andrijic added.
Akira Santillan of Queensland rebounded from a horror first set to defeat Nick Horton 0-6 7-6(4) 6-2
Daniel Guccione showed form versus Matthew Tanza for a 6-3 6-2 victory as seventh seed Harry Bourchier defeated Aaron Addison of Victoria 6-3 6-2
Number one seed Nicholas Kyrgios was made to work in the first set against youngster Marc Polmans. Ultimately Kyrgios prevailed 6-4 6-0 although he was in praise of his young opponent stating “I knew I had to be aggressive because he doesn’t miss.”
Second seed Thanasi Kokkinakis prevailed against eighth seed Blake Mott 7-5 6-3. Fifth seed Bradley Mousley fought a tough three sets to gain victory over fellow South Australian and third seed Jack Schipanski.
You can check updated results, draws and the order of play here.