Australian Jordan Thompson held his nerve Friday afternoon to score a major upset at the 2023 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The 28-year-old defeated second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(0), 4-6, 7-6(5) in the second round of the season’s first ATP Masters 1000 event. The early exit for Tsitsipas ended the Greek’s chances of rising to World No. 1 across the ‘Sunshine Double’ events in Indian Wells and Miami.
“It’s unreal. At a Masters 1000, in the [Indian Wells] Tennis Garden here,” Thompson said. “It’s one of my favourite tournaments, I think a lot of players’ favourite tournaments to play. To have a win like that is incredible. [I’m] really happy.”
It was a second Top 10 win for the World No. 87 Thompson, who had lost both of his previous meetings against Tsitsipas (‘19 Washington, D.C., ‘22 Wimbledon).
The Australian dropped just two points on serve en route to the opening set in California, where Tsitsipas struggled to find his best level in the early stages. Although the Greek rallied to level the match and earned a mini-break on the first point of the deciding-set tie-break, it was Thompson who held his nerve for a stunning two-hour, 37-minute victory.
“I wanted to take control of my service points,” said the 28-year-old. “Obviously, I can’t do much about his, he’s a big guy and he’s got a great serve. I wasn’t finding too much rhythm there on return towards the end but snuck one out. I stayed aggressive on serve and very thankful that last ball went wide.”
Thompson, who defeated Gael Monfils in straight sets in his opening match, is now into the third round in Indian Wells for the first time. His opponent there will be 32nd seed Maxime Cressy or qualifier Alejandro Tabilo.
“I haven’t even actually looked forward [in the draw],” Thompson said. “I just saw my match today. I had a tough one in the first round as well, strange match with Monfils coming back [from injury]. It’s been a tricky draw but I haven’t actually looked forward.”