“Hell of a Day” – Stefanos Tsitsipas Battles Past World No. 267 Thanasi Kokkinakis at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/11/2021, 4:28 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during his second round match against Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


In the second round of the Australian Open 2021, World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas took on Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis. It was their first-ever meeting, and the two athletes didn’t fail to entertain the crowd. The match fell in the Greek’s favor, winning 6-7, 6-4, 6-1, 6-7, 6-4. 

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As the match began, both players matched each other’s level. They served fairly well and did not let their opponents sense an opportunity to take charge of the opening set. During the tiebreak of the first set, Kokkinakis drew first blood after Tsitsipas double-faulted and handed the first set 7-6 to the Australian.  

Stefanos Tsitsipas served consistently in set two

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In the second set, Stefanos raised his level. He served exceptionally well, winning more points on his service games as compared to Thanasi. The Greek player hit three aces too. On the other hand, Kokkinakis made two double faults. In the third game of the set, the World No. 6 got the break he needed and eventually won the set 6-4. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his second round match against Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

In the following set, Tsitsipas displayed more ruthlessness. He hit 14 winners as compared to his opponents eight and made fewer unforced errors too. Simultaneously, the Greek star capitalized on Kokkinakis’s serve and broke him thrice during the set, which led to Stefanos winning comfortably 6-1. 

Thanasi Kokkinakis Saves Match Point in Set Four

Thanasi began serving in the fourth set and needed to step up his game to stay alive in this contest. It was a close battle with neither of the players giving each other a chance to take the upper hand.

In the tenth game of the set, Tsitsipas failed to convert the match point he received. At 6-6, Tsitsipas served a double fault at the beginning of the tiebreaker and eventually lost the set 7-6.  

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis in action during his second round match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

The match entered the fifth and final set, and the Australian player began to serve in the first game. In the fifth game of the decider, Stefanos got the break of serve and consolidated it by holding serve to make it 4-2. After four hours and thirty-two minutes, Tsitsipas won the final set 6-4.  

After the match, Stefanos said, “Thanasi is a great competitor and a great fighter. As you saw, It was very difficult facing him today. He’s a talent who has great potential, I’m pretty sure he knows it himself. He just needs to take advantage of it and make the best out of his career.

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“Despite the difficulty of the match today, I really enjoyed being out here competing and showing the world some really good quality tennis, high-quality tennis.

“It was a hell of a day.”

With that win, the World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas will now play Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer in his third-round match on Saturday. 

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Rohan Kollare

582 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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