BRISBANE, Australia — Former US Open champion Dominic Thiem had a brush with one in every of Australia’s most venomous snakes throughout a qualifying match on the Brisbane Worldwide on Saturday.
The previous world No. 3 was a set all the way down to Australian James McCabe, 20, in a first-round qualifying match when followers courtside noticed the snake.
Safety personnel rapidly arrived, however the umpire needed to cease play because the snake slithered on to the court docket to the shock of the gamers and followers.
“I actually love animals, particularly unique ones,” Thiem stated. “However they stated it was a very toxic snake and it was near the ballkids, so it was a very harmful state of affairs.
“It is one thing that has by no means occurred to me and is one thing I will undoubtedly always remember.”
The snake — recognized as a 50-centimeter japanese brown snake and one in every of Australia’s most threatening reptiles — was quickly safely eliminated, permitting play to renew.
However Thiem, 30, was not but out of hazard as he needed to save three match factors earlier than leveling the match by profitable the second-set tiebreak. He then went on to clinch the deciding set for a 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 win.
The Austrian, presently ranked No. 98 after a number of years with a hard wrist damage, will face both Italian Giulio Zeppieri or one other Australian, Omar Jasika, within the ultimate qualifying spherical tomorrow.
Thiem reached the ultimate of the Australian Open in 2020 when he pushed champion Novak Djokovic to 5 units, and he received the US Open later that 12 months.