Thanasi Kokkinakis advances at French Open after five-set epic

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After launching his French Open 2024 campaign with a marathon win over fellow Australian Alexei Popyrin, the world No.100 Thanasi Kokkinakis triumphed over Italian qualifier Giulio Zeppieri in another five-set epic.

With his 1-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(7/5), 6-2 victory, the 28-year-old Kokkinakis moves into the French Open third round for the third time in his career.

As often occurs in a Kokkinakis encounter, there were multiple twists and turns in the near four-hour contest, with the Australian undeniably flat in the early stages against the world No.148 Zeppieri. He dropped the first two sets.

The first set passed in 34 minutes, but rain interrupted the second. The players endured a delay of over an hour and it appeared to recharge the Greek Australian.

Kokkinakis came back to win the third set 6-3 and won a tiebreak 7-5 to send the match to a deciding set as they went beyond three hours on court.

With the Italian appearing to fatigue, and treated for a leg complaint, Kokkinakis drew on his experience as he closed out the five-set victory when a Zeppieri forehand sailed long. The match lasted three hours and 45 minutes.

Kokkinakis now prepares to meet No.12 seed Taylor Fritz in the third round.

Source: ABC News.

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