( file pics : Novak Djokovic & Dominic Thiem)

Speed Post News Network

Patna : Eight-time champion and World No 1 Novak Djokovic, 33, Serbia, and reigning US Open Champion & World No 3 Dominic Thiem, 27, Austria, survived five-sets marathon at Melbourne Park, Australia, to advance to the 4th round of Australian Open (AO) 2021 on February 12, 2021.

Defending champion Djokovic reached the 4th round of AO winning a hard fought battle against World No 31 Taylor Fritz, 23, USA, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2 in third round despite a muscle tear. Top seed Djokovic, who had taken four-sets to beat Frances Tiafoe, 23, USA, in the previous round on February 10, 2021, won 4 break points during the match to 3 by 27th seed Fritz. Djokovic also won 4 games in a row in the match to 3 by Fritz.

The Serbia, in all, won 157 points during the match to 155 points by Fritz, who is yet to cross 3rd round of AO. Fritz, however, hammered 24 Aces in the match to 15 by Djokovic, who after the match said he was not sure whether he would be able to return to the court to take on 14th seed Milos Raonic, 30, Canada, in 4th round on February 14, 2021, after the muscle tear. Djokovic has won AO singles title in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 201919, and 2020. He has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles.

Third seed and 2020 AO finalist Dominic Thiem also survived a five-set thriller to beat World No 47 Nick Kyrgios, 25, Australia, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 rallying back strongly after two-sets down. Thiem, in all, won 148 points during the match to 138 points by the Australia. The Austrian won 3 break points to 2 by Kyrgios. Both the players won 3 games each in a row. Kyrgios though hammered 24 Aces during the match to 14 by the Austrian, who will face 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov, 29, Bulgaria, in 4th round on February 14, 2021. Thiem had also won US Open singles title in five-sets rallying back from two-sets down.