By Lawrence Machado
Jordan Thompson could be soon be a big household name as he continues to makes waves in the Association of Tennis Professionals Tour.
The Cherrybrook ace, also an imposing competitor for Australia in team competitions, recently shot up to 51 from 60 on the world rankings after an impressive run in the Paris Masters this month, halted only by the incomparable Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard won 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).Thommo’s highest ranking todate is 43 in July 2019.
One of the many sporting stars produced by Castle Hill’s Oakhill College, Thompson, 24, turned pro in 2013 and is currently in Australia “doing my hotel quarantine but no travel dates have been set yet for Melbourne”.
“If there is an opportunity to play lead in events (to the Australian Open), I will take that opportunity,” Thompson told Hills to Hawkesbury Community News.
“My proudest moment on tour is making it to the third round of the Paris Masters and playing arguably one of the greatest players of all time in Rafael Nadal.
“It was an honour sharing the court with Nadal. I feel privileged to have been able to play such a great player.
“I definitely miss home when I’m on tour. I miss being with my mates from back home and I miss watching live rugby league, especially the West Tigers.”
Thompson said he is learning to playing without crowds, despite the lack of atmosphere during matches.
“I haven’t found playing in front of no crowds too bad. It is what it is but the atmosphere has definitely been dead,” he said.
“I would definitely prefer a crowd because that’s one of the aspects that makes sport so good but there’s not a lot we can do about it.
“I haven’t really set any goals yet as the tour is so uncertain right now.
“I think I have made stronger showings on the tour due to playing with the best players week in week out.”
Thompson said the biggest disappointment in his career todate was losing the fifth and deciding rubber of the 2017 Davis Cup semi-finals to Belgium in Belgium.
He said his parents have always supported him in his career.
“I guess I started to think about becoming a professional tennis player when I was 18 or 19 after my last year in juniors,” Thompson said.
“I had a few coaches growing up that really helped me along the way.
“My dad coached me from a young age and has continued to help me to this day. So I think he was the one who got me into tennis.
“Also my more recent coaches have helped immensely, especially Des Tyson. He coached me for about four-five years and I would not be the player I am today without him.
“Jaymon Crabb has been coaching me for over two years now and he got me back on track when I hit a rough patch in 2018.
“Peter Luczak has been with me during the pandemic so he’s been helping me on court since the tour resumed as it was too hard for Jaymon to travel with me because of the two-week hotel quarantine.
“But Jaymon and Peter have worked together as a team to help me towards the back end of the year which has made it very easy for me.
“I have been very fortunate to have Lleyton Hewitt in my corner, he has helped me so much during my career and he’s always willing to help out our Aussie guys
“I most admire Lleyton for his fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude.
“Later on, my favourite players are Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal
His Dad Stephen, a former ATP player in singles and doubles, started coaching Jordan since he was four.
“Jordan always had very good ball skills and was much better than I was (as a child),” said Stephen, who still accompanies his son at some events.
“He has done very well this year specially with the disruptions due to Covid-19 and to be ranked in the top 50 is what he would like to be.
“His strength is his tenacity and court speed and he won’t give up.
“If I have to give any advice, it will be for him to keep going.”
Thompson did his early schooling at Jasper Road Public School, Baulkham Hills, and played for Hornsby Kurin-gai Tennis Club – where Dad Stephen coaches – and Hills District Tennis Association.
Now a feared opponent at the Grand Slams, Thompson advanced to the fourth round of the 2020 US Open, before bowing out to 27thseed Borna Coric.
Thompson has plenty of big name scalps under his belt, including former world number one Andy Murray in 2017, and represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
A winner of several ATP Challenger titles, Thompson has impressed with his never-say-die attitude, with his closest matches lasting more than four hours.
In his first major championships as a teen, Thompson reached the final of the US Opens boys event in 2012 with fellow Aussie Nick Krygios.
His coach Jaymon Crabb says Thompson could break into the top 32 which means a seeding at Grand Slam events.
“He’s very professional, he does all the right things for his body,” Crabb told ATP Tennis Radio. “If he needs extra serves and returns, he’s always willing to do them.”