Thanasi Kokkinakis speaks highly of Stefanos Tsitsipas ahead of AO clash



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Thanasi Kokkinakis speaks highly of Stefanos Tsitsipas ahead of AO clash

Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis couldn't hide his emotions after claiming a dominant first round win at Melbourne Park. Kokkinakis, who has a long history of health issues though he is only 24, dominated Soonwoo Kwon 6-4 6-1 6-1 on Tuesday to reach the second round at the Australian Open.

The crowd absolutely enjoyed watching the Australian playing great tennis.and the 24-year-old she'd a few years after the match. “It’s been very, very challenging the last few years,” Kokkinakis admitted, per Tennis.

“It’s (been) a massive, massive journey”. Kokkinakis broke Kwon in the opening game of the match and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to win the opener. The Australian then much more easily won the second set as he broke Kwon three times to take a two-set lead.

In the third set, Kokkinakis earned two more breaks and lost no service games to wrap up a straight-set win. “I was just stoked. Very happy. Massive amount of relief, and, yeah, it was a bit emotional,” Kokkinakis explained.

“The people around me know the ups and downs what I have been through mentally, just trying to get to the starting line of the tournament”.

Kokkinakis plays next against Stefanos Tsitsipas

Kokkinakis, ranked at No.

267 in the world, is set for a tough second round as he plays next against 2019 Australian Open champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. Kokkinakis, a former world No. 69, is looking forward to clashing world No. 6 Tsitsipas in front of his home fans.

“It’s going to be exciting. Obviously a phenomenal player, one of the favorites for this tournament,” Kokkinakis said of facing Tsitsipas. “I just can’t wait to get out there. I’m not sure what court we’ll play on, I’m sure it will be a pretty big one. I’m hoping there is a decent crowd … and hopefully it’s pretty loose”.