Wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis struggled with his break point conversion for a set and a half but everything changed after he broke the serve of Aleksandar Vukic for the first time. Kokkinakis, ranked at No. 145 in the world, recovered from a set down 6-7 (5) 6-3 6-2 to reach the Adelaide 2 semifinal.
Kokkinakis blew a total of 11 break points before breaking Vukic for the first time in the eighth game of the second set. “Don’t remind me,” Kokkinakis smiled, when reminded of the breakpoint battle in his on-court interview, per Tennis Australia.
“He was coming up with some good serves, I was being a little bit tentative. “I was trying not to lose my marbles completely but when the two went in the second set, so I was 0 and 11, I was really about to lose it”.
Kokkinakis completed a comeback win
After winning the second set, Kokkinakis broke Vukic twice in the third set to complete a comeback win. “I just tried to make returns, put the ball in play and give myself a chance,” Kokkinakis related.
“Thankfully I took one (breakpoint) and eventually I just let it go and started playing good tennis from the second set”. Kokkinakis has now started the season with back-to-back ATP semifinals. “I’m stoked,” said Kokkinakis.
“It’s been a long five or so years. I couldn’t be happier with the way I’m serving and giving myself a chance every match. Hopefully I can keep it up”. Kokkinakis will fight former world No. 3 Marin Cilic for a place in the Adelaide final.
“I’m going to have to play well. I’m going to have to take more chances than I did today, especially in the first set, if I want to give myself a chance,” said Kokkinakis. “Hopefully I can ride the wave. Ride the support again and keep playing some good tennis, because I’m love it here (in Adelaide)”.