Dominic Thiem survives scare to beat plucky Denis Kudla from two sets down
Fifth seed Dominic Thiem battled from two sets down to beat American Denis Kudla in a gruelling second-round battle at the Australian Open.
Thiem prevailed 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-3 to reach the third round after almost four hours on court in the sweltering heat at Melbourne Park.
Both players dropped serve three times in an error-strewn opening set, with Thiem going on to squander two set points in the tie-break before Kudla snatched it 8-6.
The world number 190 took that momentum with him into the second set, breaking Thiem in the eighth game to take a 2-0 lead.
However, the tide soon turned in the third, and after the Austrian pulled one set back, it was clear the world number five had finally found his stride.
Two more breaks of serve arrived for Thiem for the fourth set, while he managed likewise in the fifth to end Kudla’s dream of a first third-round appearance in Australia.
Thiem will face either Adrian Mannarino for a place in the fourth round, after the Frenchman beat Czech Jiri Vesely in four sets.