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Jordan Thompson defeats Tallon Griekspoor, Aussies lead Netherlands 1-0

The Aussies take a 1-0 lead over the Netherlands thanks to Jordan Thompson’s gritty victory.

Jordan Thompson Davis Cup 2022 Jordan Thompson Davis Cup 2022 || Joan Monfort / AP / SIPA

Jordan Thompson came through for the green and gold on Tuesday at the Davis Cup Finals, staking Lleyton Hewitt’s team to a 1-0 lead over the Netherlands in Malaga, Spain with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory.

Thompson takes control after two tight sets

Thompson, who improved to 5-2 in Davis Cup singles rubbers, needed time to turn the tide of the match. He saved three break points at 3-3 in a tense second set to hold, and finally made his move in the 12th game of the set, winning the final four games to break for the set.

“I think serve and return was massive,” the world No 84 said. “Ran down a couple of balls when it mattered, but I think the two biggest things were serving and returning. Put a lot of pressure on his service games. Even if he held games, I felt like I was making a lot of returns.

“I was hanging in there with a lot of first serves. I was spreading the court, hitting different spots and mixing it up. I’d say those two things [made the difference].”

Thompson said the contest was far from over at that point.

“I think I had maybe four consecutive games where I had a breakpoint and didn’t convert,” he said of the second set. “But I also held a couple of mammoth games, as well. Then, yeah, 6-5 managed to sneak a backhand pass and take the set. I don’t think that was any relief. I mean, it’s just one set all and there is another set to go.”

Cramping hindered Griekspoor, who lost four of last five games

Griekspoor, ranked 96, said he was struggling physically (cramping on both legs) as the two hour and 54 minute contest wore on.

 “I think he started to play a little bit better but not a big difference. I was struggling a little bit physically,” he said. “It wasn’t easy. Tough match to start off with. Yeah, like I said, I should have done better on the important points. Yeah, probably should have won the match.”

Australia, bidding for its 29th Davis Cup crown, will send out Alex de Minaur against Botic Van de Zandschulp in the second rubber, hoping to clinch a spot in the semi-finals.

The Dutch are hoping to reach the semi-finals at Davis Cup for the second time. They are one of two teams in the Davis Cup Finals that has never won the title before, along with Canada.

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