One for the future: Jordan Thompson

Over the past few weeks, the name of Jordan Thompson has been heard a fair bit in tennis circles, and for good reason. Affectionately known as ‘Thommo’ the 22 year old Sydney native broke into the top 100 men’s rankings for the very first time earlier in May after winning the Anning Challenger, which propelled him to 89 in the World.

After his entry into the top 100, Thompson becomes Australia’s number 4 tennis player, in front of crowd favourites, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Sam Groth. Still, Thompson is still a relative unknown to the Australian public, his one match at the Australian Open was played on court 7, a court that is hidden out the back and a court that has a very low capacity.

Thanks to his promising start to the year Thompson has been granted a wildcard into this year’s French Open at Roland Garros in Paris. This means that Jordan does not have to rely on going through the gruelling qualifying in order to get into the tournament and goes straight into the main draw of the tournament.

Traditionally, the French Open has been Australia’s weakest Grand Slam results wise of the four. The excuse given for this is that generally most Australian tennis players grow up playing on either hard court or mod/lawn grass tennis courts and not the heavy clay surface that is present at the French Open. As a result of this Australian players have been picked apart on the surface with their flatter ball trajectory not giving them as much of an advantage as it would on pretty much any other surface.

However, in a recent interview Thompson has stated that he has been spending plenty of time on the newly built clay courts at the Melbourne park tennis complex and is said to be very confident that his game will not break down on the slow surface. Thompson’s biggest weapon are by far is his booming forehand, which has the potential to end a point at any stage.

It is remarkable that Sam Groth, who has had a shocking year so far , dropping over 30 spots to number 97 in the World, still gets much  more media coverage than ‘Thommo’ who has risen over 50 spots in the rankings since the end of last year. Groth did represent Australia in Davis Cup this year, but apart from that he has done nothing to deserve any of the coverage that he gets. Groth’s first round losses have generally gotten more coverage than any of Thompsons positive results.

Thompson debuted at the Australian Open in 2014 after winning the Wild-Card playoff against fellow young gun Ben Mitchell in a gruelling 5-set marathon. He is yet to win a match at grand-slam level, but if his recent form continues it is safe to say that it is only a matter of time until he starts putting together wins at tour level on a consistent basis.

 

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