If there’s a silver lining in Thanasi Kokkinakis’ semi-final defeat on the Adelaide Worldwide, it’s that he may take pleasure in higher success on the Australian Open because of this.
The hometown hero’s impressed title defence got here to an finish with a courageous three-set loss to world No. 26 Roberto Bautista Agut at a packed Memorial Drive on Friday evening.
The end result halted a fascinating run by the 26-year-old that included a win over world No. 6 Andrey Rublev, along with his massive serving, highly effective groundstrokes and aggressive method absorbing to observe.
As a lot as Kokkinakis adores his hometown event, its proximity to his house Grand Slam that kicks off at Melbourne Park on Monday isn’t preferrred.
After holding aloft his maiden ATP Tour trophy after Saturday evening’s remaining final yr, Kokkinakis needed to hotfoot it to Melbourne on Sunday then misplaced his first-round match towards German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann on Monday.
Whereas pissed off to bow out in Adelaide after he bettered the veteran Spaniard in most statistics, Kokkinakis can have the luxurious of three days to arrange for Tuesday’s first-round encounter with Italian world No. 57 Fabio Fognini.
“Hopefully I can use these days to a bonus,” Kokkinakis stated.
“It’s arduous enjoying day by day … I’ve had some battles towards good gamers.
“I’ll use (these) days properly, get used to the circumstances in Melbourne and provides it a red-hot crack there.
“Coming from (Adelaide) to the Aussie Open final time, (the courts) have been quite a bit slower, so it took a bit to get used to circumstances, however now I’ve obtained a pair days, so hopefully I can acclimatise and play some good ball.”
Kokkinakis, at present ranked No. 110 on the earth, displayed admirable dare and depth to defeat countryman Alexei Popyrin (ranked 113), Rublev (6) and Miomir Kecmanovic (28) on his method to the semi-final in Adelaide.
His intent is to duplicate that type to progress within the singles attract Melbourne, however he can even renew his partnership with good mate Nick Kyrgios, who he received a shock Australian Open doubles title with final yr.
“We’ll play, but when I instructed you I believe we’re going to defend the title I’d be mendacity,” Kokkinakis stated.
“We solely considered profitable it (final yr), to be trustworthy, just about within the quarters onwards once we have been each out of singles.
“We’re going to try to do in addition to we will in singles, doubles is a bonus, hopefully our our bodies maintain up.
“I wasn’t coming into this yr considering I’ve obtained to defend my doubles title.
“I wasn’t anticipating to realize a lot in doubles, I don’t really feel like I must do something extra in doubles, I wish to construct my singles profession.”
AUSSIE STAR RUES MISSED CHANCES AS TITLE DEFENCE OVER
Native favorite Thanasi Kokkinakis’ dream of defending his Adelaide Worldwide crown is over, however the South Australian misplaced no followers after his preventing defeat to world No. 26 Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday evening.
Within the first assembly between the pair, Bautista Agut held his nerve within the face of a livid problem to win an absorbing semi-final 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-3 at Memorial Drive.
Bautista Agut will face South Korean Soonwoo Kwon in Saturday evening’s remaining, after he overpowered British world No. 40 Jack Draper within the different semi.
The hometown hero was courageous, however will likely be left to rue missed alternatives.
After happening a break early within the third set, Kokkinakis created 9 break factors of his personal – 5 coming within the fifth recreation and one within the tense final recreation – however couldn’t win any of them to degree up the decider.
It was a top-quality conflict of contrasting kinds: the large serving, energy hitting and aggression of Kokkinakis versus the persistence, precision and ultra-consistency of Bautista Agut.
Kokkinakis described the Spaniard as “a brick wall” within the lead as much as the match and it proved an correct abstract.
The end result didn’t go his manner, however the hometown hero may be pleased with the extent of play he achieved this week, which augurs nicely for his Australian Open marketing campaign.
A day after he served 22 aces and slapped down 59 winners in a quarterfinal, Kokkinakis despatched down 20 aces to 7 and 51 winners.
The native favorite, at present ranked No. 110 on the earth, performed with admirable dare and depth to defeat countryman Alexei Popyrin (ranked 113), Andrey Rublev (6) and Kecmanovic (28) on his method to the semi-final.
In all three wins, Kokkinakis began strongly to take the primary set solely to lose the second then end excessive of his opponents within the third.
The South Aussie’s energy recreation rattled opponents early, however the unflappable Spanish veteran absorbed the stress utilized from the opposite facet of the online with obvious ease.
No recreation went to deuce, not to mention break level, earlier than the primary set went to a tie-breaker the place Bautista Agut hit 5 winners to land a telling early blow.
However Kokkinakis stored chipping away and created the primary break level of the match within the fourth recreation of the second set.
Bautista Agut saved that one, however his 26-year-old opponent stored coming and broke to like to go up 5-3 then served it to like to arrange an enthralling decider.
Kokkinakis had three break factors within the first recreation of the third set however couldn’t convert any of them.
With that disappointment nonetheless entrance of thoughts, Bautista Agut made his transfer, creating his first break factors of the match and taking the primary alternative to go 2-0 up then serve out.
If there’s a silver lining it’s that Kokkinakis has an additional day to arrange for Australian Open first-round opponent world No. 57 Fabio Fognini.
Initially revealed as Tennis information: Thanasi Kokkinakis goes right down to Roberto Bautista-Agut in semi-final at Adelaide Worldwide 2