Thanasi Kokkinakis looms as threat for Australian Open after shock win over John Isner at Adelaide International 2

Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis is shaping up to be a dangerous float at the upcoming Australian Open after once again proving his ability to kill giants with a thrilling three-set victory over John Isner.

Kokkinakis returned from a set at Adelaide International 2 on Wednesday to secure the 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) victory in two hours and 42 minutes .

The victory sets up a quarter-final showdown against compatriot Aussie Aleksandar Vukic, who beat world number 84, American Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-5 earlier today.

Kokkinakis – who beat Roger Federer 20 times as a major winner in 2018 but struggled with numerous injuries throughout his career – has enjoyed an ideal lead for next week’s Australian Open.

He beat world number 38 Frances Tiafoe last week on the way to the semi-finals of Adelaide International 1, and his triumph over world number 24 John Isner was further proof of the damage he could cause during the grand opening slam of the year.

Neither Isner nor Kokkinakis were beaten throughout the game, but the Australian had at least five scoring chances, all in the first set.

Isner didn’t get a single breakpoint opportunity in the game, but his soaring serve was enough to save him time and time again.

The 208cm American won the first set in a tie-break and was only three points away from winning the game after taking a 4-2 lead in the second set tie-break.

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However, Kokkinakis snagged five of the next six points to take the tie in a decider before keeping his cool in the third set tiebreaker to seal the impressive victory.

Isner hit 25 aces against 15 for Kokkinakis, but he also committed 31 unforced errors for the game.

Kokkinakis committed only 14 unforced errors to accompany his 47 winners.

“Playing it is no fun,” Kokkinakis said during his post-game field interview.

“I have a few frustrating things in life, but this one is up there for sure. You feel like you’re walking from side to side. [with how well he serves].

“Ultimately it comes down to knowing how to distract him without being a fool.

“I was trying to stay on the fence, to stand close, I don’t know. That’s why he’s been so good for so long.

On paper, world tennis superstars wouldn’t be too nervous against a player ranked 145th in the world.

But that won’t be the case when they face Kokkinakis, who won a wildcard for the Australian Open.

In 2015, the great tennis player John Newcombe said that Kokkinakis had the talent to make it into the top 20, top 10 or even top five of world players.

Injuries to his shoulder, pecs, groin, knee and elbow have since strained Kokkinakis’ hopes of reaching his potential, but good health could finally allow him to fulfill. his tennis fate.

PAA

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