Thanasi Kokkinakis has been left to rue what may’ve been after blowing 9 break level alternatives within the closing set of his loss to Roberto Bautista Agut.
As he has achieved all summer time, the Aussie performed some improbable tennis, taking it proper as much as the Spanish No.4 seed who finally ran out a 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-3 winner in Adelaide.
After being outduelled in a first-set tiebreaker, Kokkinakis turned the tables late within the second set, breaking the Spaniard for the primary time within the match to ship it right into a deciding third set.
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The 26-year-old got here out of the gates stuffed with momentum within the decider, instantly placing the stress on his veteran opponent, however that is the place his title defence finally crumbled.
Kokkinakis squandered three break level alternatives in Bautista Agut’s opening service recreation of the ultimate set, after which instantly gave up a break within the very subsequent recreation in what was described as a “intestine punch” by commentator Mark Petchey on 9’s protection.
Nonetheless, there was worse to return.
With Bautista Agut holding a 3-1 lead within the closing set, Kokkinakis threw absolutely the kitchen sink on the Spaniard, citing 5 extra break level alternatives.
As soon as once more, the Spaniard was in a position to maintain his serve, enjoying some unbelievable tennis to keep up his precious lead.
Match Highlights: Thanasi Kokkinakis v Roberto Bautista Agut
“We might not see higher tennis than this the entire summer time. It is of a brilliant excessive customary,” mentioned Aussie nice John Fitzgerald on commentary.
Kokkinakis had one final alternative to avoid wasting the match within the closing recreation, citing another break level as Bautista Agut regarded to seal the deal.
Once more, the Spaniard was in a position to break away, extremely ending the match having saved 11 of 12 break factors on his personal serve whereas changing the one break level probability he had on the Kokkinakis serve.
Bautista Agut will face face Korea’s Kwon Quickly-woo in Saturday’s closing, aiming to win the twelfth singles title of his profession, whereas Kokkinakis will start preparations for his first-round opponent Fabio Fognini on the Australian Open.
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