Update 6.20pm: The world No.38 Gilles Muller progressed to the quarterfinals of the Apia International Sydney when second seed Dominic Thiem retired in the second set.
With Muller leading 7-6(2) 2-2, the Austrian had to pull out due to a reoccurring right forefoot blister.
“I didn’t see that coming because he didn’t call for a physio or anything so I was quite a bit surprised. You never want to win that way,” Muller said.
The pair fought hard in the first set, going punch for punch. The second seed’s precision triumphed over the regular serve-volleying of Muller to secure an early break at one all.
It didn’t take long for the Muller to break back after falling down 1-3; to eventually equal the scores at 3-3.
Despite hot and windy conditions, Muller capitalised on this momentum, outlasting the Austrian in the scorching heat to take the first set in a rather one-sided tiebreak.
“It was tough conditions with the wind, it was not easy to play good tennis to be honest but I think I did well. I was down 3-1 at the start but came back really well. I played a really good tiebreak, I didn’t miss any balls and I was putting a lot of pressure on Dominic,” he said.
It was not long before the big man from Luxembourg had sealed his place; Muller lasted four more games before pulling the pin.
Muller will now play the No.6 seed Jeremy Chardy in the quarterfinals and is feeling fit after playing the shorter match today.
“It’s going to be very hot and you prepare yourself for that and I feel good. Obviously it helped today only playing a one and a half hour match, maybe only half a match,” he said.
Chardy took down local Aussie James Duckworth 7-6(5) 6-4 earlier today.