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Thiem Had Done This Only Once Before

Dominic Thiem didn't have a lot of memories to rely on when he fell behind two sets to love against Denis Kudla of the U.S. on Thursday at the Australian Open. The fifth-seeded Austrian had come back from the deficit only one other time in his career (2014 US Open, d. Gulbis). Make that two times.

Thiem advanced to the third round in Melbourne for the third consecutive year, hitting 57 winners and persevering 6-7(6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Dominic Thiem came back from two sets down against Denis Kudla in the second round of the 2018 Australian Open.
“I'm of course more than happy to be in the third round again,” Thiem said on court after the three-hour and 48-minute contest.

Thiem, who's reached back-to-back semi-finals at Roland Garros, now sits a round away from matching his best showing in Melbourne, a fourth-round run in 2017 (l. to Goffin). The World No. 5 will next face Czech Jiri Vesely or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

For more than an hour, though, it looked as if the 25-year-old Kudla, No. 180 in the ATP Rankings, would be the latest upset story in Melbourne. The right-hander, who reached No. 53 in May 2016, erased two set points in the opener and ran with the momentum to place himself one set away from the third round.

The American is no Grand Slam stranger. He was playing in his 15th Grand Slam tournament and reached the fourth round at 2015 Wimbledon. But Thiem tightened his focus, especially with his serving, in the third set, winning 80 per cent of his service points (20/25) and controlled the match from there.

Thirteenth seed Sam Querrey couldn't replicate Thiem's heroics against Hungary's Marton Fucsovics. The 25-year-old stunned Querrey 6-4, 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-2 to become the third Hungarian man to reach the third round of the Australian Open and the first since Zoltan Kuharszky in 1983.

The last time Querrey lost to player ranked as low as No. 80 Fucsovics? The first round of the 2016 US Open against No. 250 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia. Fucsovic's first-round win in Melbourne was also his first Grand Slam victory.

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