Australian Open 2021 - 'Very, very special' - Dominic Thiem wins point against Mikhail Kukushkin
Dominic Thiem produced a touch of magic during his match against Mikhail Kukushkin to leave the commentators stunned. The Austrian won through to the second round of the Australian Open after a 7-6 6-2 6-3 win over Kukushkin on Rod Laver Arena, but one particular point was anything but straightforward.
Austria's Dominic Thiem (R) celebrates after winning against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin during their men's singles match on day one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne
The 2020 Australian Open finalist was made to work hard in the match, and that showed in the opening set in the first ever meeting between the pair as he was broken twice and had to fight off a set point at 6-5, but the Austrian finally took it 7-2 in the tie-break.
Then serving at 1-0 down in the second set and fending off a break point, Thiem produced a quite unbelievable finish to win a crazy point at a crucial stage in the match.
"There are not many guys left who I haven't faced on tour so that was really interesting. He is really experienced having played the fourth round here.
"I think he likes the conditions it's way faster and the first set was super challenging. A break down I think I saved some set points. In general I am very happy to be back and have a successful first round.
"The ATP Cup was tough because out of nowhere you're facing another top ten guy. It's best of three so there is no time to adjust. Courts are pretty quick this year that didn't help me too much last week.
I really like the Grand Slams you get more time to adjust to the conditions and your opponent and get used to your own game. I'm happy I made it in three sets today and I'm glad I'm into the next round.