Whether it’s marbles or tennis, ‘Tommo’ never gives up

Ian Chadband |

Jordan Thompson sinks to his knees after finally earning his first title after 11 years of trying.
Jordan Thompson sinks to his knees after finally earning his first title after 11 years of trying.

Jordan Thompson has been left exhausted and amazed after a surreal 3am conclusion to the greatest week of his try-try-and-try-again tennis career.

And the 29-year-old, whose triumph as one of the oldest first-time singles winners on the ATP Tour, has good reason to believe his sporting life really will take off at 30 after an incredible night of double success in Mexico stretching across three matches and six-and-three-quarter hours. 

The stalwart Sydneysider not only won his first ATP singles title in Los Cabos but, after that dizzying moment, then went on to play two more matches alongside Max Purcell deep into Sunday morning to lift his fourth doubles crown too.

Such was the crazy scheduling it meant his double triumph which dragged on for exactly five hours on court didn’t conclude until 2.55am local time at the end of a week even the popular ‘Tommo’ could only hail as a “miracle”.

Just a couple of months off turning 30, he joins a list of the top-10 oldest players to win a first tour title. Among Aussie men, only John Millman, who was 31 and four months when lifting the Astana Open in 2020, was a more venerable first-time champ.

But after defeating Casper Ruud in straight sets 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to lift his first singles title in 11 years of trying, Thompson promised he’d never given up on hope that it would happen.

“A lot of guys go throughout their career without winning a title, or without making a final. Some guys go through their careers even without playing many tournaments, so you can’t get discouraged by not winning a title,” he shrugged.

“It’s incredibly tough. Not many guys do it. I mean, there’s only one winner every week. Usually you lose every single week! 

“You can’t get discouraged. You’ve just got to keep working hard and I’m extremely competitive and I just want to play any game really. Whether it’s tennis, cards, marbles, I just want to compete!”

So he was perfectly happy after his singles win to play two matches, both semi-final and final, alongside Sydney colleague Purcell, with whom he’s now got a flourishing partnership after picking up two titles together in February.

First, they beat Ruud and American William Blumberg 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 in the semis, and after another short break deep into the early hours defeated Gonzalo Escobar and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 7-5 7-6 (7-2).

It made Thompson the first Australian to sweep singles and doubles titles at an ATP tournament since Nick Kyrgios at Washington in August 2022, and prompted a tweet of congratulations from his currently injured compatriot.

“Good job @jordanthommmo2 from growing up together at the age of 7 to winning titles on the ATP tour,” tweeted Kyrgios on X.

The stats bore out just what an amazing week Thompson had, not only having to endure his five-hour slog on Saturday straight off the back of his three-hour 40-minute victory over top seed Alexander Zverev and his quarter-final win over American Alex Michelsen from 6-0 3-0 down.

All told, he spent 17 hours and 25 minutes on court during the week in Los Cabos and saved 38 of 49 break points en route to his singles win. 

At a new career-high of No.32 in the world – this time last year, he was No.93 – he’s become such a stubborn opponent that nobody will fancy playing him.