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Sports

Thiem saves match point to edge Rublev in Monte Carlo

media Monte Carlo Masters - Monte-Carlo Country Club, Monte Carlo, Monaco - April 17, 2018 Austria’s Dominic Thiem in action during his second round match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev Rublev REUTERS/Eric Gaillard TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem saved a match point and beat Andrey Rublev of Russia 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 in a gripping second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday.

Thiem returned to court Tuesday for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

The two-time French Open semi-finalist came from a set down to book a last-16 clash against either Novak Djokovic or Borna Coric with a 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 victory.

"I had to fight from the first to the last point, which of course I did well. But I was also lucky at the end when he had a match point and missed a forehand by 10 centimetres or so," said Thiem.

The Austrian was 15-40 up on Rublev's serve and clinched victory on his first match point, when Rublev double-faulted with a weak serve into the net.

"I was 10 centimetres from being out of the tournament," a relieved Thiem said. "But I'm happy that I played two hours and 40 [minutes]."

Thiem has reached the French Open semifinals for the past two years.

He next meets 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic or Borna Coric of Croatia, who play their second-round match on Wednesday.

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