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Thiem saves match point to edge Rublev in Monte Carlo

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
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.

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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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