Djokovic Survives Injury, Fritz; Thiem Tames Kyrgios; Nadal, Russians Return Sat.
by Staff | February 12th, 2021, 9:57 am
  • 25 Comments

Nick Kyrgios couldn’t pull off his second straight 5-set upset as Dominic Thiem came from two sets down to beat the Australian 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in just over three hours in the third round at the Australian Open.

Kyrgios started with a quick break and rode his fast-paced game to an early set led. The crowd was in full frenzy and Kyrgios pulled ahead by another break in the second to eventually go up two sets.

Because of a recent COVID outbreak, the tournament, from Saturday, would not be allowed to have crowds until Thursday, so the locals made their voices known and Kyrgios responded. But he let break points slip early in the third and the Austrian got back into the match. He broke Kyrgios and grew stronger by the game, breaking the 25-year-old in the fourth to force the decider. And with the momentum and Kyrgios beginning to fade, Thiem proved the stronger player.

“There are easier things than playing Nick at his home tournament on his favorite court,” said Thiem. “He is a huge player when he is on fire like today. When I was down two break points in the first game of the third set, I was considering the prospect of losing. But I kept fighting and with the break in the third set, I thought there was a chance to turn it around. The longer the match went on, the more comfortable I felt.

“I stood further behind the baseline to return his serves in order to read his serve better and I got more looks to break him. I always prefer playing in front of a crowd, even if they are for their local hero, but I accepted it. Tonight was epic and it was a great match.”

Kyrgios gave credit to Thiem.

“It was an amazing atmosphere,” said Kyrgios. “The energy out there was special. But I’m still proud of myself. I was 11 months away from the game, and to produce that level and go toe-to-toe with one of the best players in the world, I’m pretty proud. I left it all out there. I actually physically felt pretty good. I’m sore now.

“He’s a hell of a player. He’s so disciplined. He’s so composed. His level doesn’t drop,” he added. “I’m not disappointed at all. I’m super proud of everything I’ve done the past couple of months to get ready for it.”

Thiem will get former Australian Open semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday for a spot in the quarters.

In the last match of the day, Novak Djokovic survived a serious scare toughing out injury and Taylor Fritz 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2.

Djokovic was in full control of the match up two sets until he awkwardly slipped on the Melbourne sign injuring his right ab area. Djokovic got multiple treatments but they didn’t help as the Serb’s serve was off. Fritz took advantage and took the third then went up a break in the fourth at 3-2 when the match was stopped to allow for fans to leave under the new 11:30pm curfew order.

After a 10-minute delay, things looked no better for Novak who dropped the fourth. Fritz was rolling on his serve while Djokovic was struggling.

Somehow, things would change.

Djokovic put together two easy service games and then finally broke Fritz to go up 4-2. He would win the last four games of the match, afterward letting out a massive scream in the now-empty Rod Laver Arena.

“Right now I know it’s a tear of the muscle,” Djokovic said. “I don’t think I’ll manage to recover from that in less than two days. I don’t know if I’m going to step out on the court or not. I am just very proud of this achievement.

“The way it felt the beginning of the third set when I got my first medical timeout, I was debating really strongly in my head to retire after two games because I couldn’t move. I couldn’t rotate or return.”

If he can go, Djokovic next gets Milos Raonic who got past Marton Fucsovics.

Meanwhile, Fritz wasn’t feeling the Djokovic injury.

In the big Canadian showdown, Felix Auger-Aliassime had his way with Denis Shapovalov 7-5, 7-5, 6-3.

“I didn’t have so much luck here the last year but I always love this place,” Auger-Aliassime said on court.

“So finally this year I’m playing some good tennis and am through to the second week in front of you guys, and it’s a pleasure.”

Alexander Zverev blew past Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. He’ll now meet Dusan Lajovic.

And little-known qualifier Aslan Karatsev knocked out No. 8 seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Karatsev. “First of all, qualifying. I was already happy. And then it’s round by round I played really good tennis. And after a lot of work I’ve done in the past years, I’m happy.”

He’ll take on Auger-Aliassime.

The third round concludes with Rafael Nadal meeting fellow lefty Cameron Norrie. The Russians are back trying to join surprising countryman Karatsev in the fourth round. Daniil Medvedev has won his last 16 matches as he faces Serb Filip Krajinovic. Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov are also in action.

SATURDAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCHEDULE
Rod Laver Arena – 11:00 AM
MUCHOVA, Karolina (CZE) [25] vs. PLISKOVA, Karolina (CZE) [6]
KRAJINOVIC, Filip (SRB) [28] vs. MEDVEDEV, Daniil (RUS) [4]
BENCIC, Belinda (SUI) [11] vs. MERTENS, Elise (BEL) [18]
7:00 PM
KONTAVEIT, Anett (EST) [21] vs. ROGERS, Shelby (USA)
NORRIE, Cameron (GBR) vs. NADAL, Rafael (ESP) [2]


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25 Comments for Djokovic Survives Injury, Fritz; Thiem Tames Kyrgios; Nadal, Russians Return Sat.

Thangs Says:

Drama queen.. I dont think anyone believes except his fans..


Dave Says:

So when he pulls out of he Raonic match, it was all because he’s been faking it the whole time. And hitting forehands at 40 or 50% and donating 2 sets to be dramatic is not the best way to conserve yourself for later matches at a grand slam is not a good way to win grand slams especially after a long physical match with Tiafoe. And if he was faking, he wouldn’t have reacted with so much emotion after he won. Djokovic has had an easy time with Fritz in their previous matches. People who are not his fans and are objective also believe it. But this is what the media has been portraying and building up about Djokovic for years. And so everytime he has an injury he is faking it. 2019 against Wawrinka. Tennis players in their 30’s get injured a lot more often than In their 20’s. but Djokovic has basically never had a legitimate injury according to many. If you drink the cool aid from the media, eventually a player isn’t even a human being anymore and seem to have bad motives even when they try to do good things. Requests to help the players in the quarantine got twisted with one word. Literally one word. Demands. And all of a sudden Djokovic has done this terrible thing. People can be dehumanized by all of these twisted stories until u believe all of it. Djokovic may not be perfect and makes mistakes like all of us. But he sure isn’t as Bad as he is portrayed by the media. And it would make zero logical sense for him to fake an injury for 2 sets against a player he is a match up nightmare for to be this so called drama queen and mess with Fritz.


chrisford1 Says:

True, Dave.
And obviously this goes beyond Djokovic. The media has figured hate sells. So their path now is to demonize “oppressors” and glorify “victims” or people they find uncontroversial and somehow noble.
They need to cast a female tennis player as villain, soon, to add to the Djokovic hate they are trying to engineer. Serena sometimes fills the bill, but the media has backed off bashing her in recent ‘wokw’ years as Serena is a black female, therefore an automatic victim by her identity group. Though the media does have demonization campaigns going against Margaret Court for being religiously non-welcoming to homosexuality as a sin, and Martina Navratilova for “anti-trans” bigotry for opposing men in dresses playing female tennis players. And all while the media is ignoring that Djokovic is more of a progressive and reformer than most players.
Fed and Rafa are status quo icons.
And Kyrgios is not a reformer so much as a guy that just likes to sit out tournaments and run his mouth off and trash people. Had he played any competitive tennis in the last 11 months he would have earned a higher ranking vs. having to face Thiem early due to his low points and showing signs of lack of conditioning in the 5th set.


Telperion Says:

I subscribe to every word, Dave.


Wog Boy Says:

Well said Dave👍
This is what Mats Wilander said few days ago:

“I think Novak is doing something like what Arthur Ashe did in early 1970s. He started the ATP and Jimmy Connors was not happy.
Towards the end of the 1980s, we broke away from the Grand Prix tour, we started the ATP Tour and guys made twice as much prize money over one year from 1989 to 1990.“

“Novak is trying to start something, he’s trying to be the voice for the smaller guy. I give him a lot of credit because he knows that people are going to have opinions about what he says because he’s the number one player in the world.
But somebody has got to have a voice for the little guy and I think the press is having a field day in criticising him.
So Novak, you should concentrate on your tennis, but you’re doing a great job!”


Wog Boy Says:

What went completely unnoticed and wasn’t given any attention but it should’ve been, is that thanks to Nole, this year prize money at AO has been distributed more evenly for the qualifying rounds and first four rounds.
While the prize money is roughly the same they they lowered the prize mone for the winner, runner up and SFs and used that money to raise the prize mone for qualifying and first four rounds. We are talking about significant changes.

So Nole did put his mouth where his mouth is!

Nole was campaigning for that for a long time and he should take full credit for that but he wasn’t given any, instead they changed his “SUGGESTIONS” how to improve players conditions in the quarantine into “DEMANDS”!


Django Says:

He wanted to play five sets that why he slipped on purpose after being up two sets.


skeezer Says:

“I don’t think I’ll manage to recover from that in less than two days”
Then don’t play.
Seen this “act” before. Predict he is going to play next round, nuff with the drama.


Van Persie Says:

Am glad I was not able to see the match given the circumstances… , just watched the score now and then and was wondering what was happening, as I saw he lost the 3rd and 4th sets.

Hope that Nole is fine.


Sam Says:

I don’t think Djokovic was faking the injury. But he does have a long history of hyping up his injuries. Some other players do that too. If he does come out and play and beats Raonic, then it was clear he was at least hyping it up. No way can anyone come back from an abdominal tear in less than 2 days. I think either he won’t come out, or he will come because it wasn’t a big injury. He will not play further if it was indeed a tear.


Jessy Says:

I am injured, need some attention..


RockManEnough Says:

If he wins, no doubt he is the GOAT.
The world can only marvel at how he can prevail even with a torn abdomen.
Maybe he won’t be too injured to treat us with one of his little on-court, post-victory dances.


skeezer Says:

Glad I’m not watching another Djoker injury drama match, It’s getting old….


fred stone Says:

“If it’s any other tournament other than a Grand Slam, I would retire, withdraw from the event, that’s for sure,” he said.

“But because it’s a Grand Slam, I want to give my best to try and get on the court and recover.”

So, a 2/3 set tournament is too risky to play on but a 3/5 set tournament is good to go.
That makes perfect sense if your IQ is between 0 and nothing.

Sasha will not give in as easily as the Canuck did today.


Vince Says:

Very impressive win .. only legend can pull of such a win from abdominal tear injury


Emilia Says:

Wog Boy:

Why are some of the above people so nasty? Why do they doubt Nile’s injury? It is so easy to check – let the see the medical report.

Why this double standard all the time? It is difficult to understand for a normal person.

I have a deja vu — that’s what they did with Trump all the time. Only — Nole is a good guy and doesn’t deserve any criticism.


chrisford1 Says:

Flint – You apply your 0 IQ opinion based only on sets, played vs the importance to the tournament.
Prestige, points, and money are why Rafa, Novak and Fed have played injured at Slams when they would have bowed out if it was the Doha 500.


Wog Boy Says:

Emilija, just ignore then, it’s their normal state of mind, I’ve been on this site around 12 years, don’t try to understand them, your soul is too good to understand that.


Wog Boy Says:

CF1,
You beat me to it, only the fed…rd, with IQ not bigger than his shoe size (European sizes), couldn’t understand that Nole was talking about importance of the tournament.


Wog Boy Says:

Somehow I think that Rafa is going to lift his second AO trophy, even with his “bad back”😉, his draw was pretty kind to him, so he could preserve his troublesome back.


Django Says:

Emilija
The Feds are getting upset about historic #1 and the nadals wanted a retirement.
That’s the truth.


Emilia Says:

Django:

Thanks for the comment.

The Feds have to swollow the historic no 1 – soon!!
But still I can’t understand so much hate for someone who has so many quolities as a human being. EVERYTHING always turned into Nole’s

disadvantage. What is wrong with the tennis world?


mat4 Says:

@Emilia,

Just stay out of these disputes. Try just to chat with the people who are open, respectful and have something to say.


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