Australian wildcard Jordan Thompson has pulled off the biggest win of his blossoming tennis career with a thrilling upset of eighth seed David Ferrer at the Brisbane International.
Thompson, the world No.79, fought back from a set down to defeat Ferrer 4-6 7-5 7-5 at Pat Rafter Arena after two hours and 38 minutes on Wednesday evening.
With Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt cheering on in his box, the Sydney 22-year-old scrapped superbly from the baseline in the second round clash against the Spanish veteran.
Thompson gave up a break in both the second and third sets to the former world No.3 and French Open finalist before holding his nerve to break him back for both.
With the parochial centre court fans on the edge of their seats, the Rio Olympian finally took the win with his fifth match point thanks to a marathon rally where he showed fantastic composure against one of the most consistent players on the tour.
It even prompted Canadian glamour girl and Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard to tweet: “sick match point.”
Thompson will now play his first ATP quarter-final against world No.5 Kei Nishikori who also had to come from behind to beat American qualifier Jared Donaldson in three sets on Wednesday.
A measure of the third-highest-ranked Australian’s display was that Bernard Tomic, the world No.26, was bundled out 6-3 7-5 to Ferrer in the first round.
Thompson’s previous biggest singles win was a first round victory over a wildcard at the French Open last year while he and Hewitt celebrated a memorable doubles fightback at Wimbledon last year.
Ferrer was the second seed to fall within two hours at the Queensland Tennis Centre, just after Frenchman Lucas Pouille surrendered in the second round due to a foot injury.
Pouille was trailing Brit Kyle Edmund 6-3 3-1 when he called it quits three games after receiving treatment for blisters.
The world No.14 was leading 1-0 during the medical break when he had the toes and front of his right foot heavily strapped.
Pouille, the sixth seed, was backing up 24 hours after coming back from 0-5 down to beat compatriot Gilles Simon in two tie-break sets on Tuesday.
Edmund is now likely to meet world No.4 and tournament second seed Stan Wawrinka, who plays Serb Viktor Troicki on Wednesday night, in the quarter-finals.
Nishikori survived a scare, outlasting 20-year-old Donaldson 4-6 6-4 6-3 after almost two-and-a-half hours.