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Thiem Stuns Gulbis In Five Sets

New York, U.S.A.

Thiem© AFP/Getty ImagesDominic Thiem rallies from two sets down to beat Ernests Gulbis.

Fast-rising Austrian young gun Dominic Thiem stunned hitting partner and good friend Ernests Gulbis with a courageous five-set win at the US Open Friday. In his first Grand Slam match to go the distance, the 20 year old came from two sets down to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 6-2.

Thiem, who shares coach Gunther Bresnik with the 11th-seeded Gulbis, advances to the third round, where he will play Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) winner over Japan's Tatsuma Ito.

Although Thiem raced to a double-break lead in the fifth set, closing out the match proved more difficult.

Thiem had two match points while serving for the match at 5-2 in the fifth but made four consecutive unforced errors, including three on the forehand side. But he held his nerve the following game when he broke Gulbis to clinch his 19th match win of the year.

"It's a great moment and a great day but honestly I would've hoped that this moment had happened against anyone other than Ernests. It was a very strange situation," Thiem said.

Watch Thiem Interview

On coming back from two sets down, the recent Kitzbuehel finalist said, "I defended some break points at the beginning of the third set to hold serve and then I think was a little bit injured. This was a bit of a turning point and I started to return a little better."

Thiem looked ahead to playing Lopez, whom he was supposed to face in the Madrid third round earlier this year, but could not play due to illness.

"He's a great player, serve and volleyer," he said. "Going to be a tough match. I have a day off tomorrow so I can get ready. I have doubles, which is good to keep the strokes and everything. Then I'm going to be ready for Sunday."

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