HOMETOWN HERO KOKKINAKIS LIGHTS UP ADELAIDE INTERNATIONAL


It was another jam-packed day of tennis on Tuesday at the Adelaide International on Memorial Drive with a huge win by local lad Thanasi Kokkinakis the highlight of the day.


Hometown hero Thanasi Kokkinakis put on a serving master-class in the battle of the Aussies with a straight-sets victory over veteran John Millman.


Kokkinakis won 6-4, 6-3 to set up a mouth-watering contest with one of the tournament favourites, fourth-seeded Frances Tiafoe.


Kokkinakis served seven aces to one and was at 84% for first serve points won. Both Aussies traded groundstrokes all night with some superb rallies but it was Kokkinakis who won the points when he needed them most.


Such was Kokkinakis domination, Millman was unable to break his opponent's throughout the whole match.


Kokkinakis took the early break in the first set to lead 2-1. This break of serve proved to be the turning point as Kokkinakis went on to win the first set 6-4.


Games were on serve in the second set at 3-3 until Kokkinakis broke Millman's serve for the second time in the match to lead 4-3. From there it was all Kokkinakis as he went on to win the second set and the match against Millman.


Another big story for the day was the shock win by 130th ranked Russian Anastasia Gasanova who came from behind to defeat former World No. 15 Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.


Gasanova, who reached a career-high ranking of 130 in late 2021 overcame a first set deficit and a back injury in an epic contest that went for over two and a half hours.


The first set was an arm wrestle with both players holding strong with their serves until Svitolina broke the deadlock to take a 5-3 lead.


Gasanova then broke back to make it 5-4 and then held serve to take it to 5-5.


Svitolina showed her class though and went on to take the first set 7-5.


Gasanova responded in the second and jumped out to a 4-2 lead, Svitolina got it back to 4-3 when Gasanova called for an injury time out to get treatment on her back.


The break seemed to do the trick for the Russian and she went on to win the second set 6-4.

With all the momentum Gasanova stormed to a 3-1 lead in the decider, however, the Ukrainian fought back to make it 3-3.


The arm wrestle continued and Gasanova broke the serve of Svitolina to make it 4-3 and then held serve to take a 5-3 lead. Gasanova going on to win the final set 6-3.


American Shelby Rogers was too strong for Aussie Maddison Inglis winning in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 in their round of 32 WTA 500 clash. Next up is a big challenge for Rogers as she battles third seed Maria Sakkari in the round of 16.


Rogers got out of the blocks and dominated the first set, her first serve a particular highlight with the 45th ranked Rogers winning 86% of first serves and led Inglis 14-3 with receiving points won.


Inglis put up a better performance in the second set and had her chances to take the game to a decider, however she wasn’t able to make the most of her opportunities and it was Rogers that proved too strong in the end.


Rogers got out to a 5-2 lead in the second set and Inglis fought back and was one point away from making it 5-4, however, Rogers showed her experience and went on to win the second set 6-3.


In ominous signs for the rest of the women's draw, last year's Adelaide International winner and fifth seed Iga Swiatek was dominant against Aussie qualifier Daria "Dasha" Saville in their opening round clash on Tuesday winning in straight sets. Swiatek defeated Saville 6-3, 6-3 and will now take on another young gun Leylah Fernandez in what promises to be an eye-catching contest in the second round of the Adelaide International. At only 20 years of age, French Open winner in 2020 and the youngest current player in the WTA Top Ten, Swiatek will be one to watch in 2022. With the home crowd behind her, Dasha got off to a good start early in the match to take a 2-1 lead. Swiatek showed her class though and got out to a 4-2 lead in the first set. Dasha's serve was broken in the eighth game to make it 5-3 and Swiatek went on to win the first set 6-3. The Polish youngster broke Saville early in the second and skipped out to a 3-1 lead. A pumped up Saville refused to give in and was still in the game at 4-3. Swiatek proved to be too strong in the end, breaking Saville’s serve in the ninth game of the second set to take the final set 6-3.


In a battle of the hard-hitting left-handers, crowd favourite and Murray Bridge’s very own Alex Bolt fought hard against Argentinian Juan Manuel Cerundolo but wasn’t able to take his opportunities and went down in straight sets 2-6, 4-6.


Cerundolo reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of world number 85 in late 2021 and with the form he showed today against Bolt, we could certainly see him rise up the rankings in 2022.


The first set started well for Bolt as he lead 2-1, however when Cerundolo broke Bolt’s serve in the fifth game he took a 3-2 lead and the floodgates opened.


From there Cerundolo had all the momentum and went on to win the first set comfortably 6-2.

Cerundolo broke Bolt’s serve early in the second and held serve to take a 2-0 lead.


Bolt’s serve was broken again in the third game of the second set as Cerundolo opened up a 3-0 lead. Bolt finally managed to break the Argentine’s serve and with the home crowd behind him, Bolt came back to make it 3-2.


Cerundolo’s serve continued to be the difference though and held serve to make it 4-2.

The South Australian native held serve to make it 4-3 and with the passionate crowd behind him, a deciding set loomed likely.


Bolt had four break points in the eighth game of the second set to make it 4-4, however, he didn’t take his chances and ultimately Cerundolo went on to win the match and move through to the second round.