World No. 48 Arthur Rinderknech revealed Rafael Nadal congratulated him on his Adelaide 2 run. Rinderknech, 26, made his maiden ATP final in Adelaide before losing to home favorite Thanasi Kokkinakis. On Tuesday, Rinderknech overcame Alexei Popyrin in five sets in his Melbourne opener.
"I had the chance to meet Rafa (Nadal) in the locker room this morning. He said to me: 'Bravo for your performance last week'," Rinderknech said, as revealed by Quentin Moynet.
Rinderknech was a set away from winning Adelaide
Kokkinakis, who received a wildcard into Adelaide, recovered from a set down to beat Rinderknech 6-7 (6) 7-6 (5) 6-3 to win his maiden ATP title.
“When I saw that final ball went long, I don’t think I’ve ever felt emotions like that,” Kokkinakis reflected afetr the win. “You grow up playing, you never know if it’s ever going to happen.
I made one (ATP) final before. “Down a set, down a mini break in the breaker. From then on, from 2-0 in the second set, I started to play really good tennis. “To do it in Adelaide, a court I grew up playing on when I was seven, eight, nine years old, my hometown, in front of friends and family, they’ve had a tough year, ridden the ups and downs with me, yeah, I’m so happy”.
After years of battling various injuries, Kokkinakis lifted his maiden ATP title. “Just many, many emotions. Just relief. Happy. Not just for myself and the work I put in, but everyone that stuck by me. They see me at my lowest points,” Kokkinakis said.
“To ride this high, it’s just validation, just happiness for everyone involved. It’s as much their title as it is mine. “Just emotions boiled over. I started to get little feelings of it when I got up a break in the third set.
I tried to stay as composed at possible. I started serving great. “I know how hard it is serving out matches, maybe serving out a title. I just decided to stay with it and break for the win”.