The stellar first round match went in favor of the Australian after almost 3 hours of play.
Los Cabos, August 2, 2022.- An early morning victory by Thanasi Kokkinakis closed the activity at the stadium during the second day of maiden main draw duels at the 6th edition of the Mifel Tennis Open. The Australian started solidly during a duel that ended 6-3, 6(5)-7, 6-2 in 2 hours and 50 minutes.
The world No. 75 confessed that he suffered frustration in the match as he could have finished it before midnight, however it went on until almost 2 a.m. in Los Cabos. Kokkinakis, who won his first singles title in Adelaide this 2022, returned to Los Cabos as a slight favorite in his first duel and ended up gaining the confidence he has obtained in the best year of his career at 26 and overcoming frustration.
“I love playing in front of the Mexican fans, tomorrow will be a tough match” he said at the end of the match. After suffering years with injuries that prevented him from the performance expected of him, Kokkinakis is favorite to advance in his second round duel against American Steve Johnson. At the same bottom of the draw lies a possible match against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
In less than 30 minutes the first set lead was already considerable, although the Spaniard showed flashes of the talent that made him World No. 7 in 2009 until he managed to break the Australian in the second set and force a tie break. In the only previous meeting between the two, Verdasco had beaten Kokkinakis at the 2018 Miami Masters, but in the end the Australian’s good momentum was in evidence.
The sixth seed in Los Cabos comes from winning the Atlanta Open in men’s doubles alongside Nick Kyrgios, the duo’s second title after surprising at the home Grand Slam at the Australian Open. The strength of his first serve was key in winning the first set, although Verdasco boasted a 77% efficiency in the second.
Verdasco’s days on the tour are numbered. At 38 years old and ranked 125th in the world, he is enjoying the last stages of his career after injuries in recent years, although he confesses to have the motivation to still play a surprise tournament. In Los Cabos it was complicated due to the talent present in the main draw and despite having seven singles titles in his career, the draw placed him with one of the most complicated opponents in the first round.
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