A former Tennessee tennis player is making a deep run down under in the sport’s first major tournament of the year.
Tennys Sandgren, who already provided one upset at the Australian Open with a dominant second-round victory over No. 9 seed Stan Wawrinka in straight sets, added an even bigger one hours ago while representing the United States.
Sandgren outlasted No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem in a five-set thriller 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-9), 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.
As Tennessee tennis’ official Twitter account revealed on Monday morning, Sandgren is the first Vol to be among the final eight of a grand slam tournament since current head coach Chris Woodruff did so back in 2000.
MASSIVE UPSET DOWN UNDER IN MELBOURNE AT THE #AUSOPEN!#VFL @TennysSandgren upsets world #5 Dominic Thiem 62 46 76(4) 67(7) 63 to become the first Vol to advance to the quarterfinals of a slam since current head coach Chris Woodruff did so back in 2000! Let's go Sang! #GoVols 🍊 pic.twitter.com/0MRDQdGw0c
— Tennessee Tennis (@Vol_Tennis) January 22, 2018
Not long after Sandgren’s huge victory, South Korea’s Hyeon Chung eliminated 12-time major champion Novak Djokovic, setting up an improbable match between Chung and Sandgren in the next round.
The 26-year-old Sandgren, standing at 6-foot-2, 192 pounds, is a Gallatin, Tenn. native and turned pro in 2011. His feat was recognized by none other than ESPN tennis anchor Chris Fowler.
And how about Tennessee Vol Tennys Sandgren?! Melbourne is a looong way from Rocky Top, but the 26 y-o achieved an improbable dream here to reach QF. So chilled & crafty on court. 👏🏻👏🏻Sandgren v Chung is among the least likely slam QF EVER! How fun.
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) January 22, 2018
Thiem is the second top 5 seed to be ousted as Chung also beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev, the No. 4 seed.