A comparison at the start of the season has become clear: Thanasi Kokkinakis and Adelaide equal magic.
A year after winning his first TBEN trophy in Adelaide, the Australian brought back more memories on his home court on Monday night when he defeated compatriot Alexei Popyrin 6-0, 6-7(5), 7-5 after two hours and 45 minutes. defeated. in the first round of the Adelaide International 2.
“It’s what you play for to be honest. I also had a lot of great memories last year. It was great to have that home energy and that home crowd. I’m glad I gave them something to cheer there’, said Kokkinakis. “It almost went too smoothly, but when I got the audience involved and got them excited, I know that’s what they came to see. That’s why you do all the work in all those difficult moments. You remember those feelings and that’s something you can’t replicate other than [in] tennis.”
After falling behind due to a break in the third set, it seemed that Kokkinakis was on the verge of defeat. But the 26-year-old rallied for an emotional win to the delight of fans.
It doesn’t get any easier in the second round as Kokkinakis plays against Andrey Rublev, the number 6 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
“It’s going to be tough. He’s hitting the [heck] off the ball. I practiced with him two days ago and it’s not easy. We played well, it was a good set. But it’s inconvenient. He’s a great player,” Kokkinakis said. “It won’t be easy, but I’m going to grab my game and go after it. It’s going to be a tough game.”
In another play, Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina ousted reigning Next Gen ATP Finals Champion Brandon Nakashima 6-2, 7-6(3). Another player who competed in Milan last year, Britain’s Jack Draper, passed Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 6-2. The southpaw saved three of the four break points he faced to claim his first win of the year.
American Mackenzie McDonald let slip a two-set lead against Daniel Evans three years ago at the Australian Open. McDonald earned some revenge on Monday when he ousted the Briton 7-5, 7-5.
Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic also reached the second round with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Briton Kyle Edmund.