Dominic Thiem outlasted Nick Kyrgios in an epic five-setter that sent the pulses of a packed Australian crowd racing. Getting behind their countryman Kyrgios, the crowd was at their vocal best. They were especially pumped when the Australian took the first two sets and looked to be on course for a huge upset. However, Thiem brought all his big-match experience to the fore and turned the match on its head.
Picking up crucial breaks of serve in each set right from the third, Thiem looked unfazed by the lack of crowd support for him as he went about his business calmly. It was all respect after the match as the crowd cheered for both Kyrgios who had played his heart out and the winner on the day, Dominic Thiem.
‘Impossible is nothing’ – Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem was interviewed after the match and he spoke about his thoughts on the comeback saying, “I was already dealing with the loss, you know, it was first of all [my] first match against Nick on his favourite court, with an amazing crowd … there are easier things to do [laughs]. That’s for sure one of the tougher challenges we have in our sport, you never know what’s coming, he is a huge player when he is on fire like today. Honestly, I was dealing with the loss already but then somehow I was fighting myself into the match … since the US Open, I know that impossible is nothing.”
“Giving up is never an option. There is always a chance. I was so close to losing it. If he breaks me in the first game of the third, the match is over. But I was fighting still, and with the break in the third, I realised maybe there was a chance to turn it around. I got more used to his game, and to the court, and to the great atmosphere, and the longer the match got, the more comfortable I felt,” he added.
Speaking about the overwhelming crowd support for Nick Kyrgios, Thiem said, “I always prefer playing in front of a crowd, even if they are not for me … obviously they are for the local hero, there is nothing wrong with that, so I had to accept it, and I still prefer that way more than to play in front of an empty stadium. Unfortunately the next match will be empty, and I think everybody is really sad about it, but tonight was epic, a good last match before the lockdown.”
Domonic Thiem will face fellow one-handed backhand player Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.