Thanasi Kokkinakis came back from a set down to win his maiden ATP title at the ATP Adelaide International 2 after he defeated Arthur Rinderknech of France 6(5)-7(8), 7(7)-6(5), 6-3, in a match spanning over 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The Australian’s path to the final wasn’t a straight-forward one as he had to come back from set down in all his previous matches, barring his straight-sets victory against Benoite Paire in the opening round. He also defeated second seed John Isner as well as the fourth seed and former US Open champion Marin Cilic, en route to the final.
Rinderknech also faced opponents ranked much higher than him in most of his matches and also defeated third seed Karen Khachanov of Russia in the quarter-final. The 6 ft 5 inch tall French made good use of his height advantage, his service game was strong in all his matches coming into the final.
In the final, both the players managed to hold their service game as the set entered into a tie-break. Kokkinakis was only one point away from winning the opening set, however, Rinderknech managed to hold his nerve by winning three points in a row to win the set.
Similar to the first set, the second set also went into a tie-breaker after both the players failed to break the other’s serve, although this time the Australian managed to break his opponent’s serve and won the second set. Kokkinakis managed to break Rinderknech’s serve twice in the last set to clinch his first title this year.
Roger Federer congratulated Thanasi Kokkinakis after he won his maiden ATP title
Swiss maestro Roger Federer congratulated the Australian after he won the title in front of his home crowd. Kokkinakis shared the screenshot of the message he received from Federer after he won the title in Adelaide.
“Maiden title at home big fella, Love the sound of that Thanaser. Amazing…. Keep going,” Roger texted Kokkinakis.
However, this isn’t the first time Federer acknowledged the 25-year old, he also congratulated Kokkinakis after he claimed his first win at the Australian Open in 6 years, last season.
Kokkinakis, who once defeated the 20-time Grand Slam champion at the Miami Masters back in 2018 captioned it “He’s still the GOAT.”
This title win comes as a much-needed respite to the Australian, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. He has been awarded with a wildcard entry at the upcoming Australian Open and will face qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in the opening round.