Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis has won his first ATP title and reacted to the breakthrough in priceless scenes, shouting repeatedly in triumph and breaking down in tears.
The 25-year-old clinched a 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 victory over Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech to win the men’s Adelaide International two singles title.
“Raw emotion,” said former British tennis player Mark Petchey on Nine’s Wide World of Sports.
AS IT HAPPENED: Emotion-charged Kokkinakis wins first ATP title
“This is what sport’s all about. This is everything – everything. Zero filter. Everything coming out. Boy does he deserve this moment.”
The early stages of Kokkinakis’ professional tennis career were plagued by a torrid run with injury and health.
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While a career highlight saw the South Australian trump Swiss legend Roger Federer in the 2018 Miami Open, his last six years have been hampered by shoulder, pectoral, abdominal, ankle and knee injuries, as well as glandular fever.
“To my family, my coaches, my friends, everyone here, what a ride it’s been,” Kokkinakis said.
“You guys have seen me at my lowest lows and obviously now my highest high.”
Kokkinakis wins epic point in deciding set
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A critical point in the Adelaide International two final came when Kokkinakis grabbed the first break of serve of the match, taking out the first game of the third set.
Kokkinakis’ world ranking climbed to 103 in his victory over Rinderknech.
He will on Monday meet German world No.126 Yannick Hanfmann in the first round of the Australian Open.
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