Published: Fri, January 24, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Australian Open: Dominic Thiem rallies to reach Round 3

Australian Open: Dominic Thiem rallies to reach Round 3

Russian Karen Khachanov, the No. 16 seed, had to go the distance to reach the third round at the Australian Open, prevailing 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 [10-8] against Swedish No. 1 Mikael Ymer in a four-and-a-half-hour clash.

He also probably made them nervous with the way he seemed to completely give away the third set after twice being a single point from serving for the win, holding break chances while already leading 4-2.

He lost this first clash - against German Alexander Zverev in the third round of the Australian Open a year ago - in two sets, and the first set of this competition indicated that it would be the same.

"Let's say it happens maybe two times a year or maybe once", he said, adding it was not related to tension. The crowd got it going.

The rising Australian star extended Medvedev to four tight sets past year at Wimbledon and is relishing the opportunity of another crack at the world No.4. "That's why I was freaking out inside and also outside today".

He looked pleasant after the race through the first set and served 5-4 to have two sets in front of him. But the crowd was roaring for Bolt and he remarkably broke, with the tide turning as he rallied to clinch the set 7-5.

In an unbranded T-shirt and creased canary-yellow shorts, he looked like he had wandered in from one of the South Australian worksites where he worked as a manual labourer before returning to tennis in 2016.

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Roared on by the crowd, the left-handed world number 140 stalked Melbourne Arena hitting winners from everywhere, including one around the net post, and putting huge pressure on Thiem.

Thiem regained his composure, however, and started to pick apart the tiring Australian with shots from a playbook he has been studying since he was a young child training with his parents. Thiem had an opportunity at 4-4 with two break points but he failed to convert. He boosted his level in the crucial moment, winning 12 of the following 15 games and emerging victorious after three hours and 33 minutes.

Khachanov will face Aussie No. 2 Nick Kyrgios next, who beat Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to reach the third round Down Under for the fourth time in his career.

Tomljanovic went down 6-3 3-6 6-3 to two-time major victor Garbine Muguruza from Spain and Hon was outclassed 6-3 6-2 by another former world No.1, Angelique Kerber from Germany.

"It was a tough match".

Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev was a comfy 7-5 6-1 6-3 victor versus Pedro Martinez regardless of experiencing a nosebleed late in the 2nd collection.

The US Open finalist was up 5-0 in the second set when he required a medical timeout. "It's nothing", said the Russian, who won four titles a year ago.

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