Aussie star Thanasi Kokkinakis has moved into the quarterfinals of the Adelaide International tournament after he upset No. 1 seed and World No. 6 Andrey Rublev.
Kokkinakis came into the match an underdog but claimed one of the biggest wins of his career.
The win was just his third victory over a top 10 player after his 2017 Queens win over then World No. 6 Milos Raonic and his 2018 win over then World No. 1 Roger Federer.
But Kokkinakis, who’s early career had been dominated by injuries, is continuing to string together some huge results.
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Heading into the Australian Open where he will defend his men’s doubles title with Nick Kyrgios, he is also trying to win the Adelaide International, which he won leading into the Australian Open last year.
Kokkinakis will face Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, the sixth seed who earlier beat Aussie Jason Kubler 5-7 7-6 6-4 in the quarters.
While Kokkinakis claimed the big win, he didn’t have it all his own way, blowing up at the umpire late in the first set.
Waiting for the crowd to stop talking, the umpire called a time violation on the Aussie, and Kokkinakis was furious.
“No no no no no, that’s a s**t call,” Kokkinakis said.
“What do you mean, ‘How do you know?’ Are you hearing how loud that is? I’m waiting for them to stop jeering.
“That’s a terrible call. What are you doing? You’re just trying to get involved.
“I’m waiting for them to stop. I was literally telling them to stop booing and now you’re giving me a time violation for that.
“I was ready, I was waiting for them to shut up.
“That’s your fault for not paying attention. So take it back. Why can’t you take it out?
“It doesn’t f**king matter now. If you do your job then I can do mine.
“If you’re not watching me, that’s your fault. What are you watching then?”
After the match, an excited Kokkinakis was in good form on the mic as well, enjoying another huge performance.
“I’ve had my best memories on this court, last year was an incredible feeling, it’s something you only dream of as a kid,” Kokkinakis said.
After practising with Rublev during the week, Kokkinakis revealed he learned one thing.
“I learned he hits the s**t out of the ball, which I kind of already knew to be honest,” Kokkinakis said.
“He’s a hell of a player as you can see. I didn’t even play that bad a game, I just missed a couple of first serves. Against someone like that, it’s all it takes against someone that quality.
“He’s a hell of a player, a ripper bloke as well, he’s doing great things already and is going to continue to. But I’m stoked I got one of my biggest wins in front of you guys.”
Kokkinakis sent down 17 aces in the match, winning 89 per cent of points on his first serve.
“It’s a big part of my game, if I’m serving well then I feel like I have a chance to beat a lot of the guys,” he added.
The interviewer asked how his body was feeling, but when Kokkinakis gestured to himself, he added: “I know it’s good.”
Thanasi smiled and said: “Thanks mate” as the crowd laughed.
“I feel great,” Kokkinakis continued. “A few little niggles but that’s professional tennis. You’re trying to play at the top level as hard as you can, you’re going to get some bumps and bruises.
“S**t, I’ll take this to where I was a few years ago, so I’m a happy man.”