Match Report

Thompson upsets Zverev on 7th MP in Los Cabos SF marathon

Aussie will face Ruud in bid for first ATP Tour title
February 24, 2024
Jordan Thompson moves to within one victory of his first ATP Tour title in Los Cabos. By ATP Staff

After saving three match points in a quarter-final comeback against Alex Michelsen, Jordan Thompson needed seven match points of his own to seal an upset of top seed Alexander Zverev at the Mifel Tennis Open by Telcel Oppo.

Following three hours, 40 minutes of semi-final drama on Friday night, the Aussie advanced to his third tour-level final with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(2) victory that concluded just after 1 a.m. In search of his first ATP Tour title, he will meet Casper Ruud in Saturday's final at the ATP 250.

"I think it's just a miracle," Thompson said of his Los Cabos run, which included a fightback from 6-0, 3-0 down against Michelsen. "I never thought I'd be here."

Thompson won an opening set that featured five breaks before Zverev took the second without facing a break point. There were no break chances on offer for either man in the deciding set until Thompson created five — which doubled as match points — at 6-5.

Zverev survived that game with timely serving and consistency in the rallies, but Thompson asserted himself in the tie-break by winning six straight points to lead 6/1. The Aussie went into lockdown mode in the humid conditions and gave Zverev nothing down the stretch.

His reward was his fourth Top 10 win and his second against Zverev, whom he also beat last October in Tokyo. Asked why his game is so effective against the German, Thompson was out of answers for the first time on the night.

"It doesn't feel effective," said the Aussie, who now holds a 2-1 Lexus ATP Head2Head advantage in their series. "It was over three and a half hours. It was just a great match and I just competed until the end I really don't know what to say. I'm pretty tired."

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Earlier in the evening, Ruud cashed in on a near-flawless serving display in the opening set to defeat defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. After a dominant start to the semi-final, the fourth-seeded Norwegian fought off five set points in the second set to escape with a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory.

Ruud did not lose a point on first serve in the opener (14/14), but Tsitsipas began to find his range on return as the second set wore on. Ruud's rock-solid baseline game helped him wriggle out of 0/40 and 15/40 in consecutive service games from 4-5, before he saw home a 4/0 lead in the tie-break.

"It was a really close match, all in all, especially the second set," he said post-match, before addressing the Los Cabos crowd in Spanish to thank them for their support. "I was fortunate to save a few set points there and hold him off. I was just a bit lucky, and in the tie-break I played really well from the beginning. So I'm very happy with the win."


Ruud advanced to his 19th tour-level final (10-8) and his fifth on hard courts by improving to 17-21 against Top 20 opponents on the surface. Tsitsipas, who was bidding to successfully defend a title for the third time (2019-20 Marseille, 2022-23 Monte-Carlo), has now lost six consecutive matches against Top 20 opposition.

The result also earned Ruud a 2-1 lead in the pair's Lexus ATP Head2Head series. Their Los Cabos meeting was their first matchup since they split a pair of 2021 ATP Masters 1000 meetings in Madrid (Ruud) and Toronto (Tsitsipas).

Following Saturday's singles final, Ruud and Thompson will compete against each other in the doubles semi-finals — with the winners set to return to centre court for the final after suitable rest. Ruud is teaming with American William Blumberg while Thompson and fellow Aussie Max Purcell are the fourth-seeded pairing in the event.

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