Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev all make it through to third round in Melbourne
Thursday 23 January 2020 07:51, UK
Dominic Thiem was dragged into an engrossing five-set scrap by former ditch digger Alex Bolt before emerging victorious to reach the third round of the Australian Open.
The fifth seeded Austrian was facing back-to-back exits at the hands of Australian wildcards in the second round of the year's first Grand Slam but he managed to dig into his reserves to win 6-2 5-7 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-2.
Roared on by a partisan crowd, left-hander Bolt stalked the Melbourne Arena court hitting winners from everywhere, including one around the net post to put the two-time French Open finalist on the ropes.
But Thiem kept his composure as his 140th-ranked opponent tired and showed his class in the final two sets to book a date with Kevin Anderson or Taylor Fritz next.
Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev was a comfortable 7-5 6-1 6-3 winner against Pedro Martinez despite suffering a nosebleed late in the second set.
The US Open finalist called for a medical timeout while leading 5-0 in the second set and needed treatment to stop the bleeding.
Medvedev fended off four break-point chances to hold in the sixth game of the third set, and finished the match off strongly.
Next up for Medvedev will be a third-round clash against Alexei Popyrin after the local hope beat Spaniard Jaume Munar 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.
German seventh seed Alexander Zverev moved into the third round for the fourth straight year with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5 victory over Egor Gerasimov in his first career meeting with the Belarusian.
He will play the winner of Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili and Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco for a place in the fourth round.
The former ATP Finals champion has yet to progress beyond the quarter-final stage of any Grand Slam.
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