Adelaide, Jan 10 () One year after lifting his first ATP Tour trophy in Adelaide, Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis made a winning start in another campaign at the Adelaide International 2 ATP Tour event here on Monday.
The Australian made more memories on his home court Monday evening when he battled past countryman Alexei Popyrin 6-0, 6-7(5), 7-5 in the first round after two hours and 45 minutes.
In other matches on the first day, Mackenzie McDonald of the United /states player as he got the better of Briton Daniel Evans; Fellow Briton, Jack Draper advanced to the next round by beating Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 6-4,6-2 while Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina defeated Brendon Nakashima of the United States 6-3, 7-5.
After falling behind by a break in the third set, it seemed Kokkinakis was on the brink of defeat. But the 26-year-old rallied for an emotional victory to the delight of the fans.
It will not get easier in the second round when Kokkinakis plays top seed Andrey Rublev, the No. 6 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
“It’s going to be tough. He hits the [heck] out of the ball. I practised with him two days ago and it’s not easy. We played well, it was a good set. But it’s tricky. He’s a hell of a player,” Kokkinakis said. “It’s not going to be easy, but I’m going to take my game and get after it. It’s going to be a tough match.”
American Mackenzie McDonald let slip a two-set advantage against Daniel Evans three years ago at the Australian Open. McDonald earned a measure of 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 triumph over Briton Kyle Edmund.