World no. 171 Thanasi Kokkinakis used his Adelaide wild card with both hands, defeating the fellow Aussie John Millman 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 22 minutes for his first ATP victory since March 2021! Thanasi blasted seven aces and dominated with his first serve, dropping 11 points in nine service games and never facing a break point.
Millman failed to follow that pace and got broken three times from five chances offered to his younger compatriot to hit the exit door on the first obstacle. John held at 30 in the opening game after Thanasi's backhand mistake, and the younger Aussie got his name on the scoreboard with an ace down the T line in game two.
Kokkinakis seized the second break chance in game three with a smash winner to forge the advantage and cemented it with an unreturned serve in the next one. Thanasi forced the rival's error in the sixth game to remain 4-2 ahead before wasting a break point a few minutes later that could have sent him further in front.
In game eight, the lower-ranked player blasted another service winner to open a 5-3 gap and secured the opener with a backhand winner in game ten for 6-4 in 42 minutes. Both players served well in the opening six games of the second set, and Kokkinakis took charge from 3-2 down, rattling off the last four games to emerge at the top and secure his first ATP victory in almost ten months.
Thanasi Kokkinakis and Tommy Paul made winning start in Adelaide.
The 6th seed Tommy Paul toppled Jiri Vesely 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 16 minutes for a winning start of the season. The Czech blasted 16 aces, but that was not enough to keep him safe, suffering three breaks from ten chances offered to the American and delivering two breaks from five opportunities.
At the beginning of the encounter, the rivals traded early breaks, and Tommy grabbed the second return game at 5-4 to claim the opener and gain a boost. Jiri stepped in from 4-3 down in set number two and claimed three straight games, including a break in game nine that pushed him towards the set and introduced a decider.
Paul produced five comfortable holds in the final set and broke the rival in the tenth game to seal the deal and advance into the second round.