Tennis: Kokkinakis ends 38-year-old Wawrinka's French Open

AFP , Wednesday 31 May 2023

Thanasi Kokkinakis knocked 38-year-old Stan Wawrinka out of the French Open on Wednesday in a five-set rollercoaster to book a third round place at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015.

Thanasi Kokkinakis
Australia s Thanasi Kokkinakis (L) comforts Switzerland s Stan Wawrinka after his victory during their men s singles match on day four of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament at the Court Simonne-Mathieu in Paris on May 31, 2023. Photo: AFP


Australian world number 108 Kokkinakis came through 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 in four hours and 38 minutes against the 2015 champion.

"I feel better now that I've won," said the 27-year-old after securing victory on a fifth match point.

"What a match. I know Stan is getting older but in the first set he was playing the best. I was nowhere, just hanging in."

Kokkinakis, who described Wawrinka, a three-time major winner, as a "legend" of the sport, last made the third round of a Slam in Paris eight years ago when he was just 19.

However, he has been plagued by physical and medical problems with a shoulder injury limiting him to just one singles match from November 2015 until May 2017.

He then missed the entire 2020 season due to mono before undergoing surgery on his sinuses in 2022.

"I've had a pretty crazy story. I came on the scene when I was pretty young, looked like I was set for a big future but I went missing for a few years," he said.

Kokkinakis will take on either Russian 11th seed Karen Khachanov or Moldova's Radu Albot for a place in the last 16.

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