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Alexander Zverev was stunned by Jordan Thompson in straight sets at the Japan Open, and the German admitted to playing poorly in the match. The 25-year-old lost 6-3, 6-4 to the world No. 60, who will now face either US Open semi-finalist Ben Shelton or Taro Daniel in the second round. Zverev, meanwhile, will be left to reflect on a disappointing defeat that has dealt a major blow to his hopes of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals.

Jordan Thompson stunned world No. 9 Alexander Zverev with a 6-3 6-4 first-round win at the Japan Open.

The Australian prevailed in straight sets in just over an hour-and-a-half to set up a second-round meeting with either US Open semi-finalist Ben Shelton or Taro Daniel.

The defeat is a blow to Zverev’s hopes of reaching the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

He currently sits in seventh place in the Race To Turin standings, with the top eight qualifying for the prestigious end-of-year tournament.

Speaking after the defeat, Zverev said: “Today I played horrible.
“He played quite good, he served quite good, but it’s just a very, very bad match for me. I don’t know what to say.”

Holger Rune, Taylor Fritz, Casper Ruud and Shanghai Masters winner Hubert Hurkacz are among who could close the gap on Zverev in the Race to Turin standings this week.

The winner in Tokyo will amass 500 ranking points, while those competing in Stockholm and Antwerp will gain 250 points each.
World No. 9 Zverev was in trouble early against Thompson after losing his serve in the fourth game, as the Australian moved into a 3-1 lead on his third break point.

Thompson did not show many chinks in his armour to allow the German back into the set, and staved off one break point in the ninth game before taking the set.

Zverev loses badly to Thomson

A Zverev revival looked on the cards when he secured an early break of Thompson’s serve to move 2-0 ahead in the second set, but the world No. 60 immediately broke back.

Thompson had the opportunity to serve for the match after breaking Zverev again to move 5-4 in front, and he claimed the win on his third match point.

It was a memorable win for Thompson, who admits this gives him hope of beating the world’s best players.

Although I haven’t accomplished as much as he has, I still believe I can beat him on the court. Otherwise, there would be no point in even stepping out there. I’m really enjoying the challenge.

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