Thanasi Kokkinas wins the Adelaide International ahead of Australian Open showdown with Rafael Nadal

Kokkinakis was emotional as he explained the moment he won his first tournament on tour.

“Geez, when I saw that final ball go long, I don’t think I felt emotions like that,” he said.

“You grow up playing, you never know if it will ever happen. I did a final before.

“Doing it in Adelaide, a court I grew up playing on when I was seven, eight, nine, my hometown, in front of friends and family, they’ve had a tough year, they’ve gone through the ups and downs with me. , yes, I am so happy.

“Like I said, in front of mom and dad, then seeing the tears in their eyes when I went to hug them after the game, those are the moments you live for. Who knows, like I said, not many people have a chance to win a title.”

Kokkinakis will face Yannick Hanfmann in the first round of the Australian Open.

If he beats the German qualifier, he will face Rafael Nadal in the second round of his home Grand Slam.

That would be a reward for coming out of a close fight with Rinderknech, who took the first set in a tie break after an error by Kokkinakis.

It was the same story in the second set.

Neither player made inroads on the other’s serve.

Both players won just under 90 per cent of their own serve points and neither earned a single break point opportunity.

Remarkable serving performances led to another tie break in the second set.

The Frenchman pinched the first point on Kokkinakis’ serve, but responded with a brilliant inside-out crosscourt forehand that put the breaker back on serve.

Charging

The courage to play that shot, at that point in the game, turned the tide.

Kokkinakis had a 4-2 lead going into the changeover, and had five points in a row with another inside-out crosscourt forehand winner.

A wide first serve sent the match to a deciding set.

The momentum continued until the beginning of the third set.

Kokkinakis forced the first break point of the match and seized his chance with a perfect return point.

He kept his nerve on serve and broke Rinderknech again to secure the match, causing emotional scenes in Adelaide.

In Sydney, Andy Murray failed to win his first final in 27 months, falling to the late Russian Aslan Karatsev.

The Russian World No. 20 broke Murray’s serve early in both sets and prevailed 6-3, 6-3.

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