Australian Open: Tsitsipas fends off Kokkinakis in 2nd round
Fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas has been pushed all the way in a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-4 win over No. 267-ranked Australian wild-card entry Thanasi Kokkinakis in a second-round match that delayed the night program on Rod Laver Arena.
Tsitsipas has a big following within Melbourne’s large Greek community but he was playing an Aussie for the first time at the Australian Open and had to contend with having shared support in the crowd.
Tsitsipas will next play Mikael Ymer, who beat 17-year-old Spanish qualifier Carlos Alcaraz in the second round.
Kokkinakis didn't play at all in 2020 because of illness and injuries and this is his first major tournament since the 2019 U.S. Open. His first-round win over Kwon soon-woo was his first in the Australian Open main draw since 2015.
Earlier, defending champion Sofia Kenin is out of the Australian Open in the second round after a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Kaia Kanepi.
After her first-round win, Kenin talked about how nervous she was as the defending champion at a major for the first time.
Against Kanepi, she looked at it. She was near tears during a changeover toward the end of the match.
The 65th-ranked Kanepi was hardly an underdog: she had beaten Kenin in their only previous match and is a six-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist. The Australian Open is the only Slam where Kanepi has not reached the quarterfinals.
The fourth-seeded Kenin only had 10 winners in the match, while committing 22 unforced errors.
Top-seeded Ash Barty dropped a few more points in her second-round match at the Australian Open than her first — but the result was still the same.
Barty followed up her 6-0, 6-0 drubbing of Danka Kovinic in the first round with a much tighter 6-1, 7-6 (7) win over fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova.
After dropping just 10 points against Kovinic, Barty was far less consistent against Gavrilova, racking up 34 unforced errors.
Barty’s serve was a particular problem: she was broken four times, including when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
“When you play another Aussie, the rankings go out the window, experience goes out the window,” she said. “It’s always going to be a tricky match no matter what.”
The 2019 French Open champion had her upper left thigh heavily taped during the match, though she played it down after the match with a laugh. “This isn’t very subtle, is it? I can’t really hide it,” Barty said, adding it was not a big issue. “I’m fit as a fiddle, I’m ready to go.”This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.
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