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Australian Open: Nick Kyrgios takes on Dominic Thiem in Melbourne

Tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios steps on the court for his third-round Australian Open clash with world No.3 Dominic Thiem – after incredible five-set comeback

  • Nick Kyrgios takes on world No.3 Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open
  • The round three match is going ahead with a crowd despite tonight’s lockdown
  • Victorians will be thrust into a snap five-day shutdown from midnight on Friday

Nick Kyrgios has returned to the court for his third-round Australian Open clash with world No.3 Dominic Thiem after a nail-biting five-set victory in the second round.

The Australia was fired up against the Austrian hitter, winning a break point in the very first game of the match at the John Cain Arena in Melbourne Park.

In contrast, commentators remarked that the reigning US Open champion looked ‘nervous’ and ‘rattled’ in the opening set.

Friday’s highly-anticipated clash is going ahead with a crowd despite a snap five-day lockdown set to go into effect across Victoria at midnight.

Nick Kyrgios (pictured) has returned to the court for his third-round Australian Open clash with world No.3 Dominic Thiem after a nail-biting five-set victory in the second round

The stay-at-home orders were called after a worrying hotel quarantine cluster at the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport climbed to 13 cases.

Kyrgios’s show-stopping win over Ugo Humbert on Wednesday night was the thunderbolt that set the 2021 ‘COVID’ Open alight after a largely whimpering opening to the Grand Slam.

After three days of largely sterile action, Kyrgios lit up John Cain Arena, creating arguably the most electric atmosphere in world sport since the pandemic took over last March.

The polarising but spectacular shot-maker sent fans inside the stadium into a frenzy and had viewers around the world glued to their TV sets for three and a half enthralling hours.

‘The stadium definitely didn’t feel half full, that’s for sure,’ Kyrgios said after crediting the raucous crowd for inspiring him to save two match points in the fourth set to set up a sequel with US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

Officials have wisely chosen to schedule Kyrgios on his beloved ‘people’s court’ again for his showdown with Thiem. 

Christos Kyrgios, brother of Nick Kyrgios of Australia watches his Men's Singles third round match against Dominic Thiem of Austria during day five of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 12, 2021

Christos Kyrgios, brother of Nick Kyrgios of Australia watches his Men’s Singles third round match against Dominic Thiem of Austria during day five of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 12, 2021

And Australia’s tennis excitement machine is readying himself for another torrid encounter in his pursuit to reach the last 16 of the Open for a fourth time.

“He’s probably one of the most physical guys on tour. He trains like an absolute animal. I have a lot of respect for him,” Kyrgios said.

“His style of tennis is not easy to play. He’s super physical.”

More to come. 

NICK KYRGIOS AND DOMINIC THIEM MATCH UP AHEAD OF THEIR AUSTRALIAN OPEN THIRD-ROUND CLASH ON FRIDAY:

DOMINIC THIEM

Age: 27

Ranking: 3

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US28,312,125

Career titles: 17

Grand slam titles: 1 (US Open 2020)

Australian Open win-loss record: 18-7

Best Australian Open result: runner-up 2020

NICK KYRGIOS

Age: 25

Ranking: 47

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US8,563,948

Career titles: 6

Grand slam titles: 0

Australian Open win-loss record: 16-7

Best Australian Open result: quarter-finals 2015

SOURCE: AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS 

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