Aussie duo keep Paris run alive

2024 French Open - Day 5

The only two Australian first round winners at the French Open are both in to the third round after Thanasi Kokkinakis copied countryman Alex de Minaur with day five wins ending a lengthy drought for Paris success.

It’s the first time since 2015 that that two Australian men have advanced to the Roland Garros third round.

For Kokkinakis, it’s taken 10 sets to get there, needing four hours and a rally from two sets down to defeat Italian qualifier Giulio Zeppieri 1-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 having won an opening round five-setter against countryman Alexei Popyrin.

Kokkinakis will take on American 12th seed Taylor Fritz awaits Kokkinakis in the next round having survived a match point for Zeppieri in the fourth set before rolling over the 148th-ranked Italian, who had some rowdy fan support, in the final set.

It’s the third time Kokkinakis has made to the third round in Paris having declared he was running on “fumes” after his opening round win.

In seven tries in Paris, De Minaur had never advanced beyond the second round but defied another weather-enforced delay at a tournament soaked in rain so far to move into the final 32 for the first time with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Spaniard Jaume Munar.

It was his second straight-sets win and he’ll take on German Jan-Lennard Struff, who is one of the form players on clay, in the next round.

“It feels great. Ultimately, it’s something that I’ve always thought that I was going to be able to achieve in my career,” de Minaur said

“I thought there’s no reason why I can’t do it, so it’s just good to finally be able to be in the third round and keep on going because ultimately, my goal is not to make the third round, it’s to go for bigger and better things. I’m just keeping myself alive and ready for the next round.”