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THOMPSON TOPPLES RAFA IN EPIC BRISBANE CONTEST



Australia’s Jordan Thompson has pulled off a stunning upset of Rafael Nadal during a big day of quarter-final action in Brisbane


All eight matches across both the men’s and women’s draws were completed today in a tournament that had been hampered by rain earlier in the week. 


Men’s Quarter-Finals


Despite the stacked schedule, there was just one match that stole the headlines: Jordan Thompson’s epic three-set win over Nadal. 


Rafa’s form has been remarkable in his first tournament back and looked to have the match sewn up with two match points in the second set tiebreak. 


However, Jordan dug deep and played aggressively to bravely take the match into a decider. 


Nadal then appeared to struggle with an injury but there was no taking away the win for Thommo as he ran away with the decider. 


Saturated in sweat, Jordan saluted the home crowd after winning 5-7 7-6 6-3 in 3 hours and 26 minutes. 


There will be no rest for Thompson as he now takes on the in-form Grigor Dimitrov. 


The Bulgarian second seed has backed up his late 2023 form, reaching the semis with an easy 6-1 6-4 win over Aussie Rinky Hijikata. 


After a tough test against Andy Murray in the first round, Dimitrov, who won the 2017 tournament, has dropped just eight games in the past four sets. 


Despite the loss, it’s been a good week for Rinky and he’s expected to reach a career high of no.70 when the rankings are official at the end of this week. 


Another Australian having a stand-out tournament was James Duckworth.


After winning two matches to qualify and then another two to make the quarter-finals, he went down to no.1 seed Holger Rune 6-2 7-6. 


Despite the loss, James will return to the Top 100 on the ATP rankings. 


While Rune is the top-ranked player in Brisbane, he has been going a little under the radar thanks to the attention given to Rafa.


In the semi-finals, he will meet the always-dangerous Roman Safiullin.


Roman, who survived five match points against Alexei Popyrin in the second round, won through in straight sets against the young Italian Matteo Arnaldi. 


Women’s Quarter-Finals


The first scheduled match on Pat Rafter Arena was the highlight of the day session.


Two grand slam champions Jelena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka took to the court with the expected hard baseline hitting on full display. 


In a riveting affair Azarenka, a former two-time champion in Brisbane, won 6-3 3-6 7-5 to reach the semi finals. 


Second seed Elena Rybakina followed and went through in unfortunate fashion when Potapova was forced to retire after losing the first set 6-1. 


In the battle of the teenagers, 19-year-old Linda Nosková from the Czech Republic took on 16-year-old Maria Andreeva.


It was the first quarter-final clash between teenagers at a 500-level WTA tournament or higher since Wozniacki took on Oudin at the US Open in 2009. 


Many had tipped the younger to prevail but it was the Czech who reached the semi-finals with a 6-3 7-5 victory. 


In her off-court speech, Nosková nodded to a future rivalry brewing.  


“She’s obviously a little younger than me. I know we probably will see each other in the future,” she said. 


Linda Noskova will face Rybakina in the semi-finals. 


To finish the night, top seed and reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka defeated Daria Kasatkina in straight sets. 


She will play Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals. 


With both draws having their 1st and 2nd seeds make the semis, will it be an expected win for the higher-ranked players in the semi-finals?


Or can Jordan Thompson continue his dream run and make Sunday’s final?


All four semi-final matches will be decided on Saturday.

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