17 January 2017 | Alex Sharp

After gutsing out a Australian Open triumph from two sets to love down, Jordan Thompson thanked mentor Lleyton Hewitt for his breakthrough first-round success.

It was a win that Hewitt would have savoured as a player.

The Davis Cup captain had to be content with watching Thompson from the player’s box.

It turned out to be the perfect vantage point for Thompson’s 6-7 (2-7) 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-1 victory, earned in three hours and 21 minutes.

After three previous Open appearances ended in first-round defeat, Thompson called the win over the world no.37 the best of his career.

“That’s ranked number one in my books,” the 22-year-old said.

“Coming down two sets to love at the Australian Open first round on Show Court 2, that was awesome.”

The Portuguese called trainers to the court in the fifth set, complaining of dizziness and blurred vision.

But the match had already swung decisively in Thompson’s favour.

Thompson said he channelled Hewitt when he was down two sets to love.

“I watched him as a kid. I loved the way he competed,” he said.

“I saw him coming back in matches. To have him there was awesome, the person who has done it himself.

“He’s helped me a lot. He’s come out to practice. He’s taken me out to his place in Sydney a few times just to get some hours in on the court.”

Next up for Thompson is the imposing figure of world No.8 Dominic Thiem.

The Austrian has five victories over top-10 players in the last year.

“He’s proved himself. He made semifinals of the French (Open),” Thompson said.

“I’m looking forward to getting out there and testing myself against top players.

“There’s no point taking the court if you don’t think you can win. I’m going to go out there, do my best. If it pays off, it pays off.”