There was some great news for Australian sports fans in west London this week when Jordan Thompson threw the tennis world in to a spin by slaying Andy Murray in straight sets at the Queen’s Club Championships.
The 23-year-old from Sydney downed the world number one in straights on Tuesday at the ever-popular men’s Wimbledon warm-up tournament, 7-6 6-2.
In conditions more akin to a scorching Melbourne Park in January than the strawberries, cream and rain of London in June, Thompson turned on the best match of his career to shock the champion Scot. The Aussie settled better in the sweaty 31°C heat and blustery winds taking full advantage of Murray’s many unforced errors.
Triumph of the ‘lucky loser’
Sydneysider Thompson only came in to the match as a so-called ‘lucky loser’, having lost in qualifying but then gaining entry to the first round against Murray after Briton Aljaz Bedene withdrew because of a wrist injury.
It is only the first time since 2012 that Britain’s Murray has lost his opening match at Queen’s Club which, being on grass, is the favoured and most prestigious warm-up tournament for Wimbledon.
The way Thompson handled the pressure, saved three consecutive break points in the second set and then ran away with the match was surreal.
Ranked only 90th in the world, Jordan will now shoot up the rankings list next Monday with his bonus points for beating the world number one.
Remember the name. Who can forget, now?
But who is Jordan Thompson and what are the odds?
Jordan Thompson was born in Sydney in 1994 and, along with tennis, grew up as an avid fan of rugby league.
The highlight of his junior career on court came at the 2012 US Open when he partnered with fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios to reach the doubles final. His one ATP title came when partnering fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis to win the Brisbane International Doubles in January this year, defeating Gilles Müller and Sam Querrey 7-6 6-4.
Alright, maybe we shouldn’t read too much in to this one win, and it is a warm-up event after all, but it is something.
The temperature in London on Wednesday 21st June (the longest day here) was forecast to be 34°C before it cools off towards the weekend. Can Jordan go all the way and be the first Aussie Queen’s Club champion since Lleyton Hewitt in 2006?
In Wednesday’s torrid heat he faces American Sam Querrey who knocked Novak Djokovic out of last year’s Wimbledon.
If you fancy a bet for Jordan to win Queen’s Club you can have 40/1 – each way ½ the odds a place 1 and 2.
Looking ahead to Wimbledon, which starts on Monday July 3rd, you can have 14/1 on Nick Kyrgios who is currently Australia’s top ranked player at number 20. You will get 100/1 on Bernard Tomic. In the women’s Daria Gavrilova is on offer at 100/1.
A one pound double on Tomic and Gavrilova would return you £10,201. Well, we can dream, can’t we?
TOP IMAGE: Australia’s Jordan Thompson celebrates after winning his first round match against Great Britain’s Andy Murray at the Aegon Championships – Queen’s Club, London – June 20, 2017 . (Action Images via Reuters / Tony O’Brien Livepic)