Photo: Deadly Australian snake on court suspends Dominic Thiem's Brisbane match

Thiem's Brisbane match was briefly suspended so a deadly snake could be removed.

by Dzevad Mesic
Photo: Deadly Australian snake on court suspends Dominic Thiem's Brisbane match
© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem found himself in a quite bizarre situation in his Brisbane qualifying opener as his match was briefly suspended due to a deadly snake on the court. 

On Saturday, former world No. 3 Thiem started his 2024 season at the Brisbane International. In his Brisbane qualifying first-round match, Thiem took on Australian James McCabe.

In the second set of the match, a snake was spotted on the court and the match was suspended as a snake catcher was called in to intervene. After a snake catcher captured a deadly 50-centimeter eastern brown snake and removed it from the court, the match continued.

Thiem completes a comeback after the snake delay in Brisbane 

Although Thiem entered the match as the favorite to world No. 272 McCabe, it was all but an easy win for the Austrian. Even though Thiem struggled, he managed to escape with a win after saving three match points to beat McCabe 2-6 7-6 (4) 6-4. 

Thiem got off to a slow start to the match as McCabe claimed the first break of the match in the fourth game. In the eighth game - when Thiem was serving to stay in the first set - McCabe earned his second break to clinch the opener.

After losing the first set, Thiem didn't convert a break point in the opening game of the second set. After not realizing his early break point opportunity, Thiem lost his service in the eighth game as McCabe opened a 5-3 lead. 

Serving out for the match in the ninth game, the match appeared to be over when McCabe earned three consecutive match points. But Thiem refused to give up and stunningly saved all three match points to get the break back and eventually force a tie-break, in which he was 0-2 down before winning seven of the next nine points to force a decider.

In the third set, Thiem broke McCabe in the 10th game - the game in which McCabe was serving to stay in the match. Thiem plays against either Omar Jasika or Giulio Zeppieri in his Brisbane final-round match.

Dominic Thiem