Del Potro ends Thompson’s Roland Garros run
Eighth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro eliminates Jordan Thompson in the French Open third round.
Jordan Thompson’s groundbreaking French Open run has been halted by a fired-up Juan Martin del Potro in the third round.
Thompson was vying to become the first Australian male into the last 16 at Roland Garros since Lleyton Hewitt in 2007.
But Del Potro – eighth seed and a semifinalist in Paris last year – overcame a heated exchange with the chair umpire early in the third set to cruise through 6-4 6-4 6-0.
The usually-placid Argentinian was well in control when he stood and argued his point with chair umpire Manuel Absolu over a line-call in the third set’s opening game.
The lengthy delay didn’t help the Australian, who lost the next two points to concede the break and the next five games.
Both men vented their frustrations at Absolu at the change of ends, before chatting amongst themselves and shaking hands before resuming play.
There were early nerves in Thompson’s Grand Slam third round debut, broken in the first game as he made uncharacteristic errors from both wings.
The 25-year-old made just five unforced errors in his defeat of Ivo Karlovic on Thursday but had tallied that many inside four games against the hulking Argentinian.
Belief started to flow and a gorgeous inside out backhand volley set up a break of serve, but Thompson was broken again in the next game and del Potro delivered two booming serves at deuce to seal a 45-minute set.
The second set was a carbon copy, with Thompson again pressuring as the 29-year-old served it out, only to see two big serves – and another set – sail past him.
Del Potro limped into the third round on the back of a torrid five-setter on Thursday where, with a sore hip and knee, he admitted to picking and choosing his moments to chase balls.
There were no such concerns on Saturday though as Thompson’s grasp on the contest slipped, with the third-set argument the final straw as he finished with 32 unforced errors compared to del Potro’s 16.
Thompson still picks up about $230,678 for his efforts – roughly a seventh of his career earnings – and is projected to rise to within one place of his career-high ranking of No.60.
Aussie results – Day 7
 Ash Barty d Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-3 6-1
 Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) d Jordan Thompson 6-4 6-4 6-0
 Sam Stosur/Shuai Zhang (CHN) d Danielle Collins (USA)/Sabrina Santamaria (USA) 6-4 6-4
 Hao-Ching Chan (TPE)/Oliver Marach (AUT) d Jessica Moore/Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) 5-7 6-1 [10-5]
Aussies in action – Day 8
 Ash Barty/Victoria Azarenka (BLR) v Belinda Bencic (SUI)/Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK), Court No.7, third match
 John Peers/Henri Kontinen (FIN) v  Rajeev Ram (USA)/Joe Salisbury (GBR), Court No.1, second match
 John Peers/Shuai Zhang (CHN) v Marton Fucsovics (HUN)/Timea Babos (HUN), Court Simonne-Mathieu, fourth match
Annerly Poulos v Antonia Samudio (COL), Court No.8, third match
 Rinky Hijikata v [Q] Roman Andres Burruchaga (ARG), Court No.12, third match