Thanasi Kokkinakis scores biggest Australian Open singles victory in years

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Nine years have passed since a teenage Thanasi Kokkinakis scored a stunning five-set victory at the Australian Open (AO) in 2015.

Now 27, Kokkinakis was determined to secure a second round match at this year’s AO, beating Austrian, Sebastian Ofner on Tuesday night in a thrilling first-round five-set triumph, 7-6(1-7), 2-6, 6-7(4-7), 6-1, 7-6(10-8).

The world no.80 kept his cool, staging an incredible comeback to claim victory over the world no. 37 on Melbourne’s John Cain Arena.

According to tennis.com.au, despite the Austrian’s 77 winners for the match, Kokkinakis, scoring 43 of his own, managed to pull out the win in four hours and 18 minutes.

“I wish I could do it easier but I can’t,” Kokkinakis said.

“I know it’s a first round, but this one means a lot.”

Kokkinakis will face 13th-seed Bulgarian, Grigor Dimitrov for a second-round showdown, which he says he is ready for.

“Grigor is a hell of a player…But I back myself. I’ve beaten higher-ranked players before, I’ve lost to lower-ranked players. It’s a number, it’s about coming out on the day and playing my best tennis, so hopefully I can do that,” Kokkinakis added.

Kokkinakis joins Australia’s top four ranked players – Alex de Minaur, Alexei Popyrin, Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson – who also progressed to the next round, alongside 68-ranked Chris O’Connell, as reported by The Guardian.

Source: The Guardian and tennis.com.au

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