Melbourne: Dominic Thiem said a burst of 'Sweet Caroline' during a stadium lights malfunction helped calm his nerves as he fought back from a set down to reach the Australian Open final on Friday.
The Austrian fifth seed was 0-1 down in the third set to Alexander Zverev when the semi-final was halted for nine minutes to fix a light which had gone out behind the baseline.
But Thiem said the Neil Diamond classic, played to entertain the crowd during the delay, reminded him of good times on skiing holidays with friends.
"I felt like I'm in Austria on skiing holidays, that's where they play this song all the time." ⛷️ Sweet Caroline, the secret ingredient for @ThiemDomi 😂#AO2020 | #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/rAURYFGgst — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 31, 2020
"I like this song," he said. "I felt like I was in Austria on skiing holidays, because that's where they play that song all the time.
"That loosened me up a bit."
Thiem went on to win the third and fourth sets for a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4) victory and a place in his first Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic.