Thanasi Kokkinakis has butted heads with Jaume Munar in a fiery post-match clash at the Madrid Open. The Aussie player suffered a heartbreaking loss in their first-round clash at the Masters 1000 event on Wednesday, going down 6-7 (7-9) 6-7 (3-7).
Kokkinakis was up 5-2 in the second set but couldn't maintain his advantage as Munar stormed back into the set to send it to a breaker. The Spanish player then sealed his remarkable comeback to send Kokkinakis packing in brutal scenes.
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The match threatened to boil over in the first-set breaker when Kokkinakis was left unhappy about Munar apparently talking to his coaches box. The Aussie player took up his argument with chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, before Munar interjected.
Kokkinakis then shot at Munar: "Bro, you don't shut up." He then said to Lahyani: "I just thought it was rich for him to complain about talking because he's done the same thing the whole time."
Munar then appeared to have a go at Kokkinakis during the post-match handshake, telling Kokkinakis "don’t tell me to shut up again". The Aussie replied "Or what?" before the pair engaged in a lengthy conversation.
Here for the handshake.
Jaume Munar: “Don’t tell me to shut up again”
Thanasi Kokkinakis: “Or what?”
Madrid temperature is heating up. 🔥
Glad they seemed to work things out in the end.
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) April 26, 2023
The whole situation captivated tennis fans and journalists, who took to social media to comment.
munar when kokkinakis said “or what?”:
— 72 seasons (@parisdaylight) April 26, 2023
It’s too bad this isn’t a ufc match thanasi
Good buoy nba playoffs tonight 👍🏻
— Gaelen (@GaelenBet) April 26, 2023
The problem for Thanasi is he played a hard court game on clay. And Munar was a bit out of line with the remonstration at the end of the match.
— Mr David (@MrDavid26883473) April 26, 2023
Interesting conversation, but both of them handled it well and it was done in a respectful way from both,
just bringing up the points which were debatable.
— Loli (@LoliLondon) April 26, 2023
Thanasi should’ve told him to shut up again 💀
— The Tennis Doggy (@TennDogg950) April 26, 2023
I respect @TKokkinakis for actually standing up and telling Munar to stop because all he does is complain
— Gabe (@gcruz154) April 26, 2023
It marked another frustrating loss for Kokkinakis in his first match since an agonising defeat to Hubert Hurkacz at the Miami Open earlier this month in which he held five match points. In his first clay-court outing of the season, Kokkinakis had set points in both stanzas against the World No.88 - a specialist on the surface.
Fellow Aussie Alexei Popyrin, the World No.75, got off to the ideal start against France's Quentin Halys, grabbing a break first-up before taking the opening set. But Halys twice struck with late breaks in the remaining two sets to prevail 4-6 6-4 6-4 after one hour and 54 minutes.
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Elsewhere on Wednesday, 15-year-old Mirra Andreeva scored an incredible upset over US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez. The 6-3 6-4 win was the first at tour-level for the Russian teenager, coming three days before her 16th birthday.
It marked the first time Andreeva had played a top-50 opponent, although she had already earned some impressive results this year - including reaching the junior girls' final at the Australian Open. Her first main-draw victory extended her unbeaten pro record in 2023 to 14-0, and she was coming off two consecutive ITF W60 titles.
Former US Open champion Emma Raducanu, who beat Fernandez in the 2021 final, withdrew from the tournament before her opening match because of a right-hand injury. The 20-year-old was scheduled to play lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova on Wednesday ahead of a potential showdown with World No.1 Iga Swiatek in the second round.
Former World No.3 Elina Svitolina played her first match at a WTA 1000 event in 14 months following maternity leave, but lost 6-4 7-5 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich. There are no Australian women in the field, with Ajla Tomljanovic and Daria Saville both still injured.
In the men's draw, Stan Wawrinka recovered from a set down to beat Maxime Cressy and set up a second-round showdown with Andrey Rublev. The three-time grand slam champion, who is the oldest player in the main draw in Madrid, won 6-7 (7-3) 6-3 7-6 (7-4).
The 38-year-old won 46 of 54 first-serve points and now has a couple of days to recover before facing fifth seed Rublev, who was handed a bye to the last 32. Roberto Carballes Baena is also through after defeating David Goffin 6-4 6-4 and will face Alexander Zverev next, while Alex Molcan saw off Wu Yibing 6-2 6-4.
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