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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday January 15, 2022

 
Kokkinakis

Thanasi Kokkinakis rallied from a set down to defeat Arthur Rinderknech for his maiden title.

Photo Source: TTV

A teary-eyed Thanasi Kokkinakis sat in his chair and soaked up the thundering applause of the appreciative crowd in Adelaide. The 25-year-old has been to injury hell and back over the course of his career, and on Saturday night he was granted a rare reprieve, a chance to shine on a big stage with his body in tip-top shape.

Tennis Express

“I wasn’t sure if I should kiss it,” he said after he hoisted the trophy. “I haven’t held one in a while.”

The Adelaide native made good on the opportunity and rode the energetic crowd to a tense victory over first-time ATP finalist Arthur Rinderknech, 6-7(6), 7-6(5), 6-3, in two hours and 38 minutes.

“Wouldn’t want to win my first title anywhere else,” he told the crowd as applause rained down.


“What a ride it’s been. You guys have seen me at my lowest highs and obviously now my highest high. It’s been a serious journey and I’m hoping this is just the beginning.”

It was an unforgettable moment for the former World No.69. The former Top-10 junior and current physical phenom claimed his eighth win of the season – he’s already just five shy of his best total, achieved in 2015 – and will rise to just outside the Top-100 as a result of the title.

Kokkinakis helped himself immensely with his serve, making 77 percent of first serves and never facing a single break point against the Frenchman. He hammered 18 aces and cracked 39 winners against just 12 unforced errors, while Rinderknech struck 42 winners against 33 unforced.

 

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