Tokyo, Japan, 16 October 2023 | Rhys de Deugd

Overcoming recent injury issues, Jordan Thompson has opened his campaign at the ATP 500 event in Tokyo with an extremely impressive win over world No.9 Alexander Zverev.

The 29-year-old scored the third top-10 of his career, and his first victory over Zverev, with a 6-3 6-4 upset.

Thompson saved four out of five break points for the match to advance to the second round.

“I fought off 0-40 first game and I really got into the match after that,” world No.60 Thompson said, explaining his slow start.

“But I held on, I was playing an unpredictable style of tennis, and I think he didn’t handle it that well in the first set and adapted in the second.

“But I somehow hung around.”

The third top-10 win of his career is also the second of its kind in 2023, after Thompson scored a three-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas at Indian Wells in March.

World No.9 Zverev entered the Tokyo tournament after solid Asian swing so far, including a final appearance in Chengdu and a semifinal effort in Beijing.

“He’s a quality player, I don’t need to say what he’s done in his career,” Thompson said.

“When I get on the court with these guys I got to believe that I can win.

“I enjoy the challenge.”

The Australian has faced some battles with his body in two out of his last three tournaments, exiting the US Open and Chengdu after retiring hurt.

But he showed no signs of those injuries in his triumph in Tokyo, as he looks ahead to face either American Ben Shelton and local qualifier Taro Daniel in the second round.

“I’ll get better,” Thompson noted.

“Obviously I felt it was pretty good today, but we will see how I recover.”

Aussies in action – Tokyo

Men’s singles, first round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) d [3] Alexander Zverev (GER) 6-3 6-4
Sebastian Ofner (AUT) d Christopher O’Connell (AUS) 6-7(2) 7-6(5) 7-5
Mackenzie McDonald (USA) d Max Purcell (AUS) 7-5 6-4

Men’s singles, first round
Aleksander Vukic (AUS)
v [8] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN)

Aussies in action – Nanchang

Women’s singles, first round
Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v [Q] Sijia Wei (CHN)

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