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'Man of few words' Thompson happy to let Kyrgios, Tomic grab headlines

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Paris (AFP)

Jordan Thompson made the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time on Thursday and admitted he was happy playing "under the radar" while explosive compatriots Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic grab the headlines -- good and bad -- for Australian tennis.

The 25-year-old Thompson is Australia's last man standing at Roland Garros after making the last 32 by seeing off Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3.

His progress is in marked progress to that of Tomic who lost tamely in the first round while Kyrgios didn't play at all, pulling out with an illness days after claiming the French Open "sucked".

Fellow Australians Alex de Minaur, Matthew Ebden, John Millman and Alexei Popyrin all fell in the first two rounds.

"I am very happy to go under the radar, I'm usually a man of few words," said world number 69 Thompson.

"They (Kyrgios and Tomic) take all the headlines. Alex is our number one and he's a quality player

"But I don't think even he gets that much of the limelight. I think he's pretty happy with that as well."

"I am low down in the pecking order and that's fine with me."

Thompson's win over 40-year-old Karlovic was sweet revenge for the five-set defeat he suffered to the giant Croatian in Paris in 2016, losing the final set 12-10.

"The key with Ivo is not to go serve-to-serve," said Thompson of an opponent who unleashed 23 aces and 57 winners in their second round match.

"I knew that would not work out well so I just tried to move him around and dictate the points."

"But it's hard to play someone like that, he gives you no rhythm at all.

"It's hard to say the tennis was any good because there weren't that many rallies going on."

Next up for Thompson is a clash against former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, the eighth-seeded Argentine who needed five sets to get past Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2.

"Del Potro is big unit, serves well, has a huge forehand, his backhand isn't bad either," said Thompson.

"He's just good all round, he's a quality top 10 player."

Del Potro, a two-time semi-finalist, needed the best part of four hours to see off the 72nd-ranked Nishioka, firing 17 aces and 69 winners.

"I am in the third round of a Slam for the first time. I don't want it to stop here," said Thompson.

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