Former world number one Mats Wilander has praised the efforts of both Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios after their five set battle in the third round of the Australian Open.
Australian Kyrgios, playing in front of a frenzied home crowd, looked like he had the match sewn up with a two set lead and two break points against Dominic Thiem in the third set.
But world number three Thiem found some extra resilience and managed to come back, winning the final three sets with just one break on the Kyrgios serve in each.
Arguably the best match of the Australian Open so far, the match had the typical showmanship expected from Kyrgios with underhand serves, attempted tweeners and verbal reactions.
Meanwhile Thiem, who came back from two sets down to win the US Open last year, showed how much his mental strength is a key to his success.
Afterward the match, Wilander was quick to congratulate both players and the crowd for the tennis spectacle.
“It was unbelievable” said Wilander, who is the Eurosport tennis analyst.
“Of course we got a feeling for it when Nick Kyrgios beat Ugo Humbert in the previous round, and then to follow it up like this – this is professional tennis at its best.
“It kind of has to involve a local hero and a crowd that is going nuts.
“Don’t forget Dominic Thiem, the way that he plays, the way that he acted – he didn’t go against the crowd, he just kept fighting, kept his head down.
“But Nick Kyrgios, what a show he puts on again.”
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