Thiem saves match point in victory over Rublev at Monte Carlo event
own serve late in the deciding set as he fired a forehand narrowly wide.
“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 centimeters or so,” said Thiem.
“I was 10 centimeters from being out of the tournament.”
The 24-year-old Thiem could also have to face defending champion Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals if he can get past Djokovic or the in-form Coric on Thursday.
“It’s a horrible draw for sure, from the first round on,” conceded Thiem.
“But I’m happy that I played two hours and 40 [minutes]... But I’m looking forward to watching Djokovic and Coric in front of the TV and then playing the winner on Thursday.”
After Rublev had edged a tight first set, Thiem clinched the second on his fourth set point before racing into a 4-1 lead in the decider.
His 20-year-old opponent cut loose, though, claiming four straight games to serve for the match.
But Rublev struck wide on match point and ran out of steam, double-faulting to hand Thiem a place in Round 3 as the world No.7 won the last three games on the spin.