Wimbledon rookie Jordan Thompson has snapped up a surprise invitation to partner Lleyton Hewitt in doubles on his debut at The All England Club.
Thompson could barely believe it when he received a text message from Hewitt declaring he was coming out of retirement to partner his young protege.
“It’s pretty special,” Thompson said.
“I didn’t think I’d get that opportunity, but I got given it and I’ll do my best out there.
“I guess he’s just trying to help out his Aussies. He’s the Davis Cup captain, so I think he’s trying to help everybody.”
The two have never teamed up before, but Thompson did serve as one of Hewitt’s summer hitting partners at the dual grand slam champion’s Sydney home before his Australian Open swansong in January.
Thompson, though, never imagined he’d partner the 2002 Wimbledon champion at the home of tennis.
“He sent me a message saying ‘we have a wildcard’ and I thought, yeah, great,” Thompson said.
“He just once mentioned he wouldn’t mind having one, so I didn’t really think it would happen.”
But before he and Hewitt open their doubles bid against Spaniards Nicolas Alamagro and David Marrero, Thompson faces 14th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the singles.
The Spaniard has lived up to his world No.15 ranking with fourth-round appearances at the past four grand slams and took the first set off Novak Djokovic at this month’s French Open.
“I just hope to play some good tennis, hopefully get through my first round, but he’s a top-20 player and I’ve got my work cut out,” 91st-ranked Thompson said.
“It’s going to be pretty tough. He’s a great player. He doesn’t miss much and he hits it pretty solid and flat, so I’ll have to do something pretty special.”