“Had to Accept It”: Dominic Thiem Unfazed by Crowd in Thrilling Victory Over Local Hero Nick Kyrgios at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/12/2021, 7:38 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning his third round match against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


World No.3 Dominic Thiem survived a thriller as he outclassed Nick Kyrgios in five high-quality sets in the third round of the Australian Open 2021. Thiem was the odds-on favorite, but circumstances turned the match even.

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Kyrgios, being the local player, was preferred by the crowd. The crowd roared each of his points, and Nick himself encouraged the crowd to go berserk.

Dominic Thiem with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios after winning their third round match. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

But the crowd didn’t rattle Thiem. The Austrian was troubled by his own demons and didn’t let the crowd affect him. In the end, he overcame all negativity inside his head to forge a similar Grand Slam comeback as his US Open 2020 final comeback.

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In his post-match interview, Thiem spoke about the loud crowd that was against him. The Austrian was happy to see the stadium filled with spectators and completely understood them supporting Australian, Kyrgios.

“I always prefer playing in front of a crowd even if they are not for me obviously they are for the, for the local hero. There’s nothing wrong with that so I had to accept it.”

Dominic Thiem during his third round match against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

For the majority of the match, most of the fans in the stadium were rooting for Kyrgios. By the time the match reached the fifth set, the stadium was silent and everybody watched from the edge of their seat.

The crowd did its best to cheer up their local hero, but Thiem hit some great winners to leap ahead of his opponent. In the end, a backhand down the line sealed the deal for Thiem, and the crowd applauded the Austrian’s great character.

Dominic Thiem on playing with crowds in the stadium at Australian Open 2021

Whether the crowd is against him or with him, Thiem prefers playing in a packed stadium. But unfortunately, the Victorian government has imposed a lockdown for five days, meaning the Aussie Open will continue behind closed doors.

Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning his third round match against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

“And still prefer that way more than to play in front of an empty stadium unfortunately next match gonna be empty. So I think everybody’s very sad about it, but tonight was epic and good last match before the lockdown it’s, it’s really sad to say.”

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At the end of the match, Thiem had earned the respect of the crowd, and it is a pity he will now have to play in an empty stadium. As of now, it is looked upon as a temporary situation, and the crowd might return after five days.

Thiem’s next opponent is Bulgarian ace, Grigor Dimitrov.

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Bhavishya Mittal

980 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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