Aam Aadmi3 minutes of reading
Australia’s gloom over Nick Kyrgios’ withdrawal was lifted by his partner Jordan Thompson’s first-day comeback win and Aleksandar Vukic’s late-night win.
Thompson, who tried to help his compatriot qualify for the tournament by training with him at the All England Club after Kyrgios pulled out early in the tournament with a wrist injury, produced one of the best wins of his career. Monday against Brandon Nakashima.
In the darkness after a rain-affected opening day on the same Court 9 where Australian fans had camped out for much of the day, Vukic rewarded the crowd with another great win from another Sydneysider as he defeated Germany’s Daniel Altmaier 6-3 7-. 6 (7-1) 3-6 7-5.
Never-say-die Thomson rallied from two sets down at a Grand Slam for the third time in his career to win his rain-interrupted match 2-6 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4). A 6-3 win after it looked like he would be blown away by the American who terrorized Kyrgios at Wimbledon last year.
It was a great tonic for the nine-strong Australian challenger, who after an early but predictable setback saw Max Purcell battling a broken leg lose 6-3 7-5 6-4 to Russia’s Andrey Rublev. .
Queensland qualifier Storm Hunter also suffered a bad defeat, while not playing too badly, losing 6-3 6-1 to an inspired Wang Xinyu, the No.73.
But pride of place went to Thompson, who set up a dream meeting with seven-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the second round after the Serbian maestro opened up the defense of his crown with a 6-3 6-3 7-6 (6-3 6-3 7-6) win. 7-4) Argentina beat Pedro Cachin.
He hoped his victory would go some way to offset the blow of Kyrgios’ withdrawal due to a wrist injury earlier in the tournament.
„Last night, I went to bed as early as I ever had, and this morning when I got to court, someone told me he had passed out – it’s incredibly disappointing,” Thompson said.
„I know he’s had problems when we’ve been training. But he made the final last year and came so close last year, so he’s a great chance to win this.
„It’s not good news. I’ve been spared (from the disappointment) a little bit, but I don’t think anything compares to the disappointment he left.”
The famously hirsute Aussie could have been a new-look, clean-cut Thompson, who ditched his trademark mustache and beard at the weekend for his seventh Wimbledon.
But the same old 'Tommo’ spirit he fought back when it looked like he might have to quit early, winning in two sets as he did against Italian Lorenzo Sonego at the US Open last year.
Australian fans surrounded a packed Court 9 for three players throughout a wet, windy day, and after Hunter’s loss, Daria Saville remained in the women’s draw, cheering on home world No. 87 Vukic. Arguably the best win of his career over Altmaier, up 21 places.
It was the first time he had advanced to the second round of a Grand Slam tournament outside his home Australian Open.
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