Stefanos Tsitsipas & Thanasi Kokkanakis fired off side by side. Both players picked up a few early points. Having reached the initial halfway point. When Tsitspas just ahead of Kokkanakis 3-2 in Stage 1.
But Kokkanakis still catches up to the World No.5 from Greece. When Tsitsipas almost got the opening stage win after the 5-4 lead. Before the Australian blocked his possible set point path. Even it means a few successful attempts. As Kokkanakis led to a lifetime with the tiebreaker 6-6.
Where Kokkanakis came back from a near loss at 5-6 to a Stage 1 win 7-6. He wrapped up Tsitsipas in the tiebreaker 7-5 for the 1st set lead unscathed. Having dueled each other for the whole time so far in this game. As we roll onto Stage 2.
The close duel between Tsitsipas & Kokkanakis rolls on having shared 2-2. But Tsitsipas bounced back this time with some progress within the halfway mark. After he passed Kokkanakis for the lead 3-2. Before the World No.5 found his way to deny him a second set win after Stage 2 6-4. While Kokkanakis just went loose in the 2nd half run When he was unable to stop Tsitsipas late in this set.
Unlike the first two stages Tsitsipas proved tip top to make up these conversions easily. Where the comfortable build up base was there to move himself away from Kokkanakis 3-1. Before the Greek did not have problems bridging his 2nd half run. As Tsitsipas proved too easy to outmuscle Kokkinakis for the Stage 3 win 6-1. And with two set wins now Tsitsipas is one stage away from winning this game.
Despite an easy third stage loss Kokkinakis began to re-gain some feel. Where he was able to stay on par with Tsitsipas this time rather than from Stage 3. He was almost a point away from being eliminated from this game at the first attempt. Before Kokkanakis got that 2nd half run ticking at 6-6 going into the tiebreaker. It was a great start from the Aussie to transfer that brilliant Stage 3 form with a big lead 5-1. He was faltering at one point where Tsitsipas began to make up his lost time. But Kokkinankis just closed him down on time with the tiebreaker win 7-5. Despite a few close duels mightly in the deuces section. As he added two stage wins tied with the World No.5 at 7-6 in the 4th set going into the 5th & final stage.
This game crossed past the four-hour mark with another fire off battle between the two players. Where they first tied up 2-2. But Tsitsipas took the lead by gaining two to three more points. While Thanasi Kokkinakis desperately scrambled to save his campaign into the third round. Having faltered again & again. And whoever wins this game will meet Mikael Ymer from Sweden. Kokkinakis did the best he can to close in the 5th seed from Greece. Unfortunately it was too little, too late to save his journey. As Stefanos Tsitsipas able to bridge his 2nd half run in the end. Where he narrowly shut down Kokkinakis for the 5th stage & overall win. In which Tsitsipas earned three stage wins compared to two from Kokkinakis. So Tsitsipas will now meet Ymer in the third round. The final score lasted 4 & 1/2 hours is 6-7 (5-7 tiebreaker), 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (5-7 tiebreaker) & 6-4.
What an late afternoon game of tennis!! Even it went for a very long time gone past dinner time. Commiserations for Kokkinakis who fired off with the early. Having to duel so close for these valuable points v Tsitsipas. He might have almost lost the game at the first time of asking after the Stage 3 loss. Came back to keep himself in contention after the 4th set tiebreaker. But just feel short when Kokkinakis faltered & eventually ran out of ideas in the end. But Kokkinankis overcame a string of injuries. As well as grandular fever that forced him to sit out of the Aus Open last year. Despite the loss he will come back as a better player as long as he is still fit to play.
While Tsitsipas may have started off slow and steady. And was able to catch up. Despite the narrow loss in the 1st & 4th set. But Tsitsipas kept going with aiming to fire on all cylinders. Having won the 2nd & 3rd set. He almost won at the first attempt of asking before Kokkinankis denied this. Where Kokkinakis turned it into a tiebreaker ahead of the 5th set. Tsitsipas in the end took advantage of the fatigue from Kokkinakis. And finally found a route to get himself out of this situation to come out of top at Rod Laver Arena.