Kokkinakis Claims First ATP Tour Title At Home In Adelaide

Kokkinakis Claims First ATP Tour Title At Home In Adelaide

Hometown hero Thanasi Kokkinakis claimed a dream maiden ATP Tour title at the Adelaide International 2 Saturday night after edging Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-7(6), 7-6(5) 6-3 in a big-serving battle lasting two hours and 38 minutes.

After neither player conjured a break-point opportunity in the first two sets, the 25-year-old secured the winning break in the first game of the third set to electrify an already charged Adelaide crowd.

It is an emotional and validating victory for Kokkinakis, who reached a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 69 as a 19-year-old in 2015, only to see his career derailed by a devastating series of injuries.

“I wouldn’t want to win my first title anywhere else,” Kokkinakis said. “To my family, friends and coaches, what a ride it’s been. You have seen me at my lowest lows and now the highest high. It’s been a serious journey. For now I am so happy.”

Coming into the week at No. 145 following a semi-final showing the week before in Adelaide, Kokkinakis will now turn his attention to the Australian Open, at which he required a wild card into the main draw.

Kokkinakis dropped serve just twice during his run to his second ATP Tour final (l. Querrey at Los Cabos, 2017) and did not offer the five-time All-American at Texas A&M University a break opportunity in tonight’s final.

Kokkinakis endured a gruelling path to the title, surviving three tie-breaks against John Isner in the second round, a come-from-behind three-set win over countryman Aleksandar Vukic in the quarter-finals and a 22-point third-set tie-break against Marin Cilic in the semi-finals, during which he saved two match points.

More to follow.

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