Cherrybrook tennis player makes Australian Open debut

CHERRYBROOK tennis player Jordan Thompson said his Australian Tennis Open debut was an ‘‘unbelievable experience’’.

The 19-year-old told Tennis Australia it was fun playing in front of the Australian crowd on Hisense Arena on January 13.

‘‘It’s pretty good to have my name thrown out there, especially for the future if some of those guys are looking for a hit,’’ he said.

Thompson played world No.20 Jerzy Janowicz, from Poland.

He won the first two sets and had break point chances in the third, but Janowicz dominated the last two sets to win the match: 1-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 and 6-1.

‘‘I would have liked to have been a little bit more aggressive, maybe come to the net a bit more,’’ Thompson said. 

‘‘But he’s aggressive from anywhere in the court. He hits a big ball.’’

It was Thompson’s fifth consecutive match against players ranked under the top 100 and admits he is learning a lot about their level of consistency.

‘‘Their level doesn’t drop too much.

‘‘Maybe he [Janowicz] didn’t start off the best, especially the first set, but his level never dropped.

‘‘That’s why he’s a top player.’’

A tennis player from the age of four, Thompson got into the sport because his parents, Stephen (his coach) and Karen, both played.

He qualified for the Australian Grand Slam in December after he won the wildcard play-offs and defeated Ben Mitchell in the final (6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 4-6 and 6-1).

FAST FACTS ABOUT JORDAN THOMPSON:

■Plays: Right-handed;

■Coach (father): Stephen Thompson;

■2013 ranking: 320;

■Titles: 2013 Austria F5 and Alice Springs F8 — both with the International Tennis Federation;

■Finals: 2013 Sydney F9 with the International Tennis Federation;

■Favourite tournament: The Australian Nationals;

■Tennis hero: Rafael Nadal;

■Dream: ‘‘To become world No.1 and win a Grand Slam’’; and

■Other sports: Soccer and touch football.

* Source: Tennis Australia.

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