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KOKKINAKIS WINS OPENER IN PORTO

Posted By Alex Johnstone  
30/06/2021
09:34 AM

Thanasi Kokkinakis headlines the results for the Australians competing outside of Wimbledon as he advanced to the second round of the ATP Challenger in Porto overnight.

Kokkinakis eased past Italian Roberto Marcora in straight sets 7-6, 6-1 in an hour and 17 minutes.

Although the Aussie outplayed his opponent for the majority of the match, he would have liked to finish it sooner given he was serving for the first set at 5-4. Not a major issue as he went on to take the set and the match following a blistering second set in which he won 87% of his first serve and hit six aces.  

If Kokkinakis can make it to the pointy end of this tournament then he could become the 11th Australian in the past 12 years to win the Porto Challenger. The record dates back to 2008 and features winners such as Sam Groth, John Millman, Luke Saville and Marc Polmans to name a few.  

Unfortunately Kokkinakis is the only Aussie who can keep this tremendous run going in Porto after compatriot Aleksandar Vukic withdrew from the tournament prior to competing in his opening round match.  

Stepping away from the Challenger Tour and over to the Netherlands on the ITF Tour where Aussie eighth seed Dayne Kelly - also a former winner of the Porto Challenger - won his first round fixture against local Guy Den Heijer 6-1, 6-4 at the M25 event.  

The Aussie won 74% of points on his first serve and managed to win 68% of points on his opponents second serve which showcased his all-round game. Kelly awaits the winner of Marko Tepavac and Daniel De Jonge.  

Aussie Jamiee Fourlis also took to the courts overnight at the W25 event in the Netherlands but came up short against German Katharina Hobgarski 3-6, 3-6.  

Fourlis started off with a break and a 2-0 lead in the first but let the advantage slip as the set wore on. Frustrating day for the Aussie as she couldn’t get her serve going - both 1st and 2nd below 50% - which ultimately led to her downfall.  

Moving over to the M15 in Monastir where Rinky Hijikata scored an impressive first round victory over Moroccan Imran Sibille 6-0, 6-3 in just over an hour's play.

Interestingly, Hijikata only landed his first serve 32% of the time in the first set but managed to win 100% of those points when he did. He would go on to hit 51% of his first serves in for the match, winning 95% of those points. Next up he will face the winner of Ji Sung Nam and Moez Echargui.  

Madison Inglis was in doubles action overnight at the W60 in Montpellier, winning her way through to the quarters with partner Erin Routliffe.

They overcame the French pairing of Emma and Juliette Mazzoni 6-0, 6-0 in just 53 minutes to advance. The Aussie and her Kiwi partner were nearly unplayable on serve as they won 88% of points on their first serve and 82% of points on their second serve. Their next opponents are German pair Tayisiya and Yana Morderger.

Heading over to the M15 in Weston, Florida, where Dane Sweeny and Tristan Schoolkate are beginning their tournament, or at least trying to anyway.

Schoolkate is still waiting to complete his opening round fixture of qualifying which has been delayed due to poor weather. The Aussie finds himself in a tricky position being down 5-7, 2-5 against Federico Augustin Gomez.

Sweeny, on the other hand, has been able to complete his opening round match of the main draw. The Aussie was able to secure a victory over Kento Takeuchi 7-6(4), 6-3 in a tough fought win.

Sweeny was able to claw his way back from an early break in the first set to send it to a tiebreaker which he won comfortably. The second set went more conventionally for the Aussie who won a late break to take the lead at 5-3 before eventually serving out the match.

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