Thompson stuns Nadal in Brisbane quarterfinal epic
Thompson saves three match points in a stunning comeback victory over Rafafel Nadal, securing a semifinal spot in Brisbane.
Jordan Thompson saved three match points against the returning Rafael Nadal to secure one of the most memorable wins of his career at the Brisbane International.
The Australian recorded his 5-7 7-6(6) 6-3 win over the 22-time Grand Slam champion in three hours and 25 minutes.
He saved a first match point in the second set, and two in the tiebreak in a spirited performance against the former world No.1.
Nadal, who received treatment on the hip that required surgery mid-2023, warmly embraced Thompson after the 29-year-old’s emotion win.
“He was one of my idols growing up,” Thompson said. “I loved Lleyton (Hewitt), loved Andy Murray, loved Rafa.
“It was special to share the court again and to take him down was a whole other feeling.”
Thompson did so with some brave and spirited tennis in which he simply refused to falter against his prolific opponent.
Executing crafty baseline tennis and drawing on the support of an absorbed Pat Rafter Arena crowd, Thompson executed 47 winners against 38 from Nadal and hit one less unforced error than the Spaniard’s 29.
But arguably the most remarkable element of Thompson’s unforgettable victory was maintaining his focus in some testing Queensland humidity – and in the face of trademark intensity from Nadal.
“I completely forgot I saved match points,” the Australian smiled.
“But to beat Rafa, in Brissy, at home in a quarterfinal – I think it’s my first semifinal on a hard court as well. I couldn’t be happier.”
The memorable performance sees Thompson through to the semifinals in Brisbane, where he will take on No.2 seed Grigor Dimitrov.
“He’s in incredible form,” said the Sydneysider, who takes a 1-1 record into tonight’s match against the world No.14.
“He had a great year with his ranking as well, he really pushed back up. He’s really on the right track.”