Australian Jordan Thompson has been brought down to earth after a brilliant fortnight, falling short in his bid to win a second grass-court tournament in eight days in the Nottingham Open final.
The Sydneysider had been in searing form, winning nine matches in a row while lifting last week’s Surbiton Trophy and then powering into another high-quality Challenger final on Sunday in the build-up to Wimbledon.
But up against his British friend Dan Evans, ‘Tommo’ felt he was given a “reality check” at the end of his exceptional fortnight as he was defeated 6-4 6-4 in a final that never felt quite as comprehensive as the scoreline looked.
But Thompson had no excuses after one of the best runs of his career, saying the British No.2 Evans, who was winning the title for the second time in three years, was just “too good”.
“I’ve had a couple of great weeks on the grass, taking the title in Surbiton last week and a runner’s up trophy today, so couldn’t be happier with the form,” said the 28-year-old, who’ll shoot back up to No.70 in the world after his excellent fortnight.
“Could have gone a little bit better today but you can’t be too greedy. Well done to Dan, he played a great match and plays great on the grass. An extremely tough match, it was a bit of a reality check today – too good.”
Evans smiled: “It’s not easy playing a good friend, it’s nice to see Tommo in another final – but I couldn’t let him win two back-to-back because I’d hear too much about it!”
Reckoning that “playing on the green stuff, it’s better than clay”, Thompson hadn’t lost the first set of any of his nine matches since he got hammered by eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the first round of the French Open.
But Evans put paid to that statistic in a combative first set which swung the Briton’s way at 3-3 when Thompson, already rattled by having just been foot-faulted for a second time, put a backhand wide to get broken.
The Australian chucked his racquet down in disgust, got a code violation from the umpire and muttered about a line official being “hopeless” before going on to lose the set.
He regrouped and had his chances in the second stanza. Yet after failing to grab his break point opportunity in the opening game, he got broken to love by Evans and was playing catch-up from that point before finally losing in an hour and 50 minutes.
The women’s WTA event at Nottingham was taken by Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, who landed her first tour-level crown by defeating American Alison Riske 6-4 1-6 6-3.
It wasn’t a great day for other Australians who have an eye on Wimbledon with Chris O’Connell losing his final-round qualifier to Swiss Marc-Andrea Huesler 6-4 6-4 in Halle.
Maddison Inglis failed to make it into the Birmingham WTA event main draw after losing to American Caty McNally 6-3 4-6 6-1, while Storm Sanders was beaten 7-6 (9-7) 6-0 by German Tamara Korpatsch in the German Open qualifiers in Berlin.
Still, Daria Saville, the top Australian at the French Open, maintained her fine form, making it into the Berlin main draw with a 6-0 7-6 (9-7) win over former Wimbledon semi-finalist Sabine Lisicki.