Fifth seed Dominic Thiem survived a five-set scare to defeat the Australian wildcard Alex Bolt 6-2, 5-7, 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-2 and reached the third round of the Australian Open 2020 on Thursday. However, the Austrian was not happy with his performance and has to ‘improve a lot’ in his next match.
The vocal support by a packed Melbourne Arena helped Bolt hit winners from all over the court and push the two-time Grand Slam runner-up on the ropes. However, Thiem kept his head and took advantage of his tired opponent to outlast him in the final two sets.
The World No.5 admitted his serve was all over the place after the opening set and explained he has to improve a lot in the next round. The 26-year-old revealed that he gained confidence after the fourth set, which helped him to prevail in the 3 hours and 22 minutes match.
“I started well, was in full control, then made a total mess of my service game. I had to fight with a few demons today, was not happy at all with myself and didn’t want to accept that I lost the 2nd (set). It’s difficult to go into a match as such a big favourite, “ Thiem said in an interview at ServusTV.
He further added: “I need to improve a lot in my next round. I had a look at the stats after the 4th (set), that gave me confidence because my numbers were good. Things like these happen, I’m happy I’m through.”
The 140th rank does not justify Bolt’s level of play. He reached the third round of the Australian Open last year and also advanced to his maiden ATP quarter-final in Adelaide last week. Theim also praised the Australian and except him to enter the top 100 in the ATP rankings soon.
“He hasn’t really got any weaknesses. There’s not a single reason why he shouldn’t get to the top 100 soon. I think it’s important he keeps up his level for all other weeks of the year,” said Thiem.
The victory helped the Viennese to improve his last year’s result, in which he fell against Alexei Popyrin in the second round. Thiem has a superior 15-3 record in final sets in the 2019 season, leading the Tour among players who played at least 10 deciding sets. With this victory, he improved to 3-1 in deciding sets at Melbourne Park.
Up next for the Austrian star is either No.29 seed Taylor Fritz or Kevin Anderson.