Thanasi Kokkinakis produces another upset to move into Adelaide International semi-final

Thanasi Kokkinakis is into the semi-finals in his Adelaide International 2 title defence.

Thanasi Kokkinakis is into the semi-finals in his Adelaide International 2 title defence. Photo: AAP

Thanasi Kokkinakis has produced a second stirring upset in as many days to keep hopes of retaining his home Adelaide International 2 title alive.

The 26-year-old backed up a three-set win over world No.6 Andrey Rublev with a 6-3 6-7 (7-4) 6-1 victory over 28th-ranked Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia on Thursday night.

Kokkinakis set up a semi-final against another top 30 player, Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, at the tournament where he secured a maiden ATP title 12 months ago.

He hit 59 winners, including 22 aces, served strongly in key moments and picked up a crucial break early in the third set after a flat second-set tiebreak.

“I was a little flat coming out, but you guys (the crowd) gave me legs,” Kokkinakis said on court.

“I got my game together in that third set and started to play a little freer and went after my shots.

“I didn’t sleep much after (Wednesday night’s win over Rublev) at all. I reckon I got to sleep at 5am and maybe got a couple of hours.

“Nothing ridiculous. I was tucked away doing my compression boot. I just couldn’t sleep for whatever reason.”

Kokkinakis, ranked 110, has drawn a tricky first-round opponent at next week’s Australian Open in Italian veteran Fabio Fognini.

Bautista Agut earlier breezed past fellow Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3 6-2 in one of several daytime quarter-finals.

Young British star Jack Draper will meet lucky loser Soonwoo Kwon in the other semi-final after both had straight-sets wins.

Ranked world No.40, Draper upset Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to exact revenge after he fell to the Russian last week in the first of two Adelaide tournaments.

The pair also engaged in a third-round battle at the US Open last year before Draper had to retire in the third set due to injury.

The 21-year-old Draper showed some nerves while serving for the match, allowing the world No.20 back into Thursday’s contest.

But he regained his composure to power through the tiebreak.

“Against guys like Karen, you can’t give them an inch or they run away with it,” Draper said of the 2022 US Open semi-finalist.

“Last game I got a bit nervous but that’s all part of the game, I’m still young, I’m still learning.

“It was a good match. I did well to impose my game on him.”

Kwon, meanwhile, beat Swedish qualifier Mikael Ymer 6-1 6-2 in exactly an hour.


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