Sports, Tennis

Thiem tames Kyrgios, crowd to reach last 16


Bangladeshpost
Published : 12 Feb 2021 10:20 PM

AFP

Ice-cool Dominic Thiem rallied from two sets down to tame flamboyant Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open Friday in front of a raucous crowd hours before Melbourne goes into coronavirus lockdown.

Kyrgios produced a virtuoso performance in the first two sets, using every trick in the book, including underarm serves and tweeners, as he fed off the energy at a boisterous John Cain Arena, his favourite court. But he couldn't sustain the intensity as US Open champion Thiem, last year's runner-up, found his groove with some dominant serving to fight back and outlast the 25-year-old 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

He will now play 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the quarter-finals, with the Bulgarian through after Pablo Carreno Busta retired injured in the second set.

"It was my first match against Nick on his favourite court with an amazing crowd, there are easier things to do," said Thiem.

"That is one of the tougher challenges we have in our sport, you never know what is coming. Nick is a huge player when he is on fire, like today."

Austrian Thiem came into the clash after dropping just six games in his previous match, in contrast to Kyrgios who played a draining and emotional five-setter.

But Kyrgios broke Thiem in the first game and immediately began revving up the mostly mask-less crowd, gesturing for them to get up and cheer.