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Kudla sqanders 2-0 lead, falls to fifth-ranked Thiem in second round of Australian Open

Denis Kudla, an alumnus of the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, took control early but fell to fifth-ranked Dominic Thiem in the second round at the Australian Open, 6-7 (6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, on Thursday.

Kudla, 25, a qualifier from Arlington, Va., ranked No. 190, beat fellow American Steve Johnson, ranked 44th, in the opening round, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

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Thiem counted 21 aces among his 57 winners in the match. He was broken three times in the opening set and once in the second set, then didn't face another break point for the rest of the match. Kudla had 12 aces among his 51 winners.

Thiem won 84 percent of his first serves (72 of 86) compared with Kudla’s 63 percent (64 of 102). Kudla had the advantage on second serves, winning 46 percent (36 of 79) compared with 38 percent (24 of 63) for Thiem.

The Austrian improved his five-set record at Grand Slams to 3-3 with the win. He lost both five-setters he played last year at the majors to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon and to Juan Martin del Potro at the U.S. Open.

Thiem won his only previous encounter with Kudla at the ATP World Tour 500 Brisbane International in 2016.

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