Dominic Thiem produces brilliant fightback to silence Nick Kyrgios at Australian Open
Dominic Thiem survived a command performance from Nick Kyrgios, coming back from two sets down to win an Australian Open epic.
Controversial Australian Kyrgios whipped the late-night crowd into a frenzy as he raced ahead but Thiem somehow held himself together to stage a remarkable comeback, winning 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Melbourne’s headline act went through his big hits early on, with a break of serve in the first game, an underarm serve and tweener through the legs in the second, and disputed a net cord in the third.
The single break was sufficient to take the first set, and Kyrgios brought the house down when he clinched the second with an underarm ace.
The scenes resembled the Last Night of the Proms, which was sadly ironic given the stands will fall silent as of Saturday under a new government lockdown.
However, the encore belonged to Thiem, who had come from two sets down to beat Alexander Zverev in last year’s US Open final.
The Austrian third seed, facing two break points at the start of the third set, reeled off an astonishing 28 unanswered points on his serve.
Break points were becoming scarcer on either side until Thiem edged ahead for 5-3 in the decider, and he served out with a swish of the backhand sealing a memorable victory.
“A match against Nick on his favourite court, there are easier things to do,” smiled Thiem on court afterwards.
“That’s one of the tougher challenges we have in our sport, you never know what’s coming.
“I was fighting myself in the match but after the US Open nothing’s impossible. That match showed me giving up is never an option.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 12, 2021
“I always prefer playing in front of a crowd, even if they are not for me. They are obviously for the local hero, there’s nothing wrong with that.
“I prefer that to playing in an empty stadium. Tonight was epic and a good last match before lockdown.”
Earlier unknown Russian Aslan Karatsev caused a major shock when he destroyed eighth seed Diego Schwartzman in straight sets.
It’s the biggest win of Aslan Karatsev’s career 👏
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 12, 2021
The 27-year-old qualifier, ranked 114 in the world and playing at his first grand slam, stunned Argentinian Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Including qualifying Karatsev has now played six matches at the tournament and dropped only one set.
And he showed nerves of steel as he closed out the match of his life with an ace down the middle.
Emma Raducanu resumes trial with Dmitry Tursunov: ‘We need to see how we compliment each other’
Emma Raducanu and Dmitry Tursunov working together again in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati schedule and streaming details: When are Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz, Nick Kyrgios playing?
A couple of big guns open their Western & Southern Open accounts on Tuesday.
Daniil Medvedev ‘would love to see’ Novak Djokovic play at US Open to reignite his rivalry with Rafael Nadal
Daniil Medvedev wants to see Novak Djokovic play at the US Open.
Iga Swiatek hoping to catch Serena Williams’ eye and say ‘hi’, but admits she is ‘too shy’ to introduce herself
Will Iga Swiatek get to say “hi” to Serena Williams before the tennis icon retires?
Serena Williams vs Emma Raducanu: What time is the big match and where to watch it…
A quick lowdown on the mouthwatering Serena Williams vs Emma Raducanu clash.
Wimbledon champ Elena Rybakina shakes off slow start for Cincy win, but Leylah Fernandez exits
Elena Rybakina gets out of early trouble to advance in Cincy.
Carlos Alcaraz admits he ‘couldn’t handle the pressure’ in Montreal, but eyes improvement in Cincy
Carlos Alcaraz determined to step up after Montreal disappointment.
Gutsy Andy Murray hoping for a day off before battle of the Brits
Andy Murray needs a day off before his battle of the Brits showdown with Cameron Norrie.
WTA Rankings: Simona Halep soars up to World No 6, Coco Gauff tops doubles ladder
Simona Halep is well placed to make a run on the top five, while Coco Gauff tops the doubles rankings.