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Tennis: Thompson snaps losing streak with Rune upset

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Australia’s Jordan Thompson made a brilliant start at the Queen’s Club Championships in London, defeating No.7 seed Holger Rune on Monday.

Thompson was a heavy underdog at tennis bookmakers heading into the match, with the world No.43 having not won a match in eight weeks.

However, the Aussie snapped his losing streak in style, coming from a set behind to defeat the 2023 Wimbledon quarter-finalist 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Thompson winds back the clock at Queen’s

Seven years ago, Thompson achieved the best win of his career at the Queen’s Club.

Up against world No.1 Andy Murray, he turned on his best tennis and blew past the Brit in straight sets.

While Monday’s win wasn’t quite so dramatic, there’s a good chance Thompson will cherish it just as much. Rune is a strong grass-court player, and Thompson had lost five matches in a row heading into their clash.

However, he was able to raise his level when need be, striking 27 winners to just 10 unforced errors. Rune didn’t play poorly, finishing with 22 winners and 14 unforced errors.

Break chances were few and far between, with each winning their opponent’s serve just once. But when push came to shove, it was Thompson who held his nerve to win a crucial second-set tiebreak.

Hijikata wins too, de Minaur favourite

Another Australian, Rinky Hijikata, also found success on the London grass on Monday.

The world No.98 advanced to the second round when former world No.10 Frances Tiafoe retired injured in the third set. The American had injured his leg in a nasty fall and was unable to play through it.

Despite the success of Thompson and Hijikata, neither are the best shot of bringing Australia glory this week. That label sits with Alex de Minaur, recent Libema Open champion, who gets his Queen’s campaign underway on Tuesday.

Top online bookies have the newly minted world No.7 slated as a $7 favourite to win the tournament, second only to world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz ($2.10).

However, de Minaur faces a tricky first-round opponent in Lorenzo Musetti, who is back inside the world’s top 30 after making the semi-finals in Stuttgart last week.

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