On March 24, 2018, Thanasi Kokkinakis stunned the world No.1 Roger Federer at the Miami Masters.
Injuries were put to one side and, then 21, it looked like the Australian would begin making his move in the tennis world.
It wasn’t to be as recurring pec problems hampered his progress.
But on Monday evening in Mexico, Kokkinakis has finally recorded his next win on the ATP Tour.
The 23-year-old registered a 6-4 6-4 win over Maxime Janvier to reach the second round of the Los Cabos Open.
“It was very tricky, tricky conditions, very windy out there, and my opponent was trying to hit every ball as he hard as he could,” Kokkinakis said.
“I had to just try and stay patient, stay calm. It got a bit yucky through the match, towards the end, but I found a way to win, which is good.”
The victory, during which he saved eight of nine break points, ended a 16-month wait after toiling away on the second-tier Challenger tour to prove his fitness.
Kokkinakis has continued to show he always had the talent, winning two titles last year.
He’s even beaten players inside the world’s top 100.
But winning on the step up to the ATP tour, having received a wildcard into Los Cabos two years after reaching the final there, counts as a milestone to savour.
"Hopefully I can stay healthy and put together some good runs, whether it's this week or not,” Kokkinakis said.
“Hopefully for the rest of the year, (I’ll) stay healthy.”
— Thanasi Kokkinakis Fans (@FanofKokk) July 30, 2019
The points on offer will see Kokkinakis leap up several spots in the rankings from his current position in 192nd.
He will face French fourth seed Lucas Pouille in the second round.
"We've been practising a lot this week. Lucas and I are pretty good friends. We know each other pretty well," Kokkinakis said.
"It's going to be a very tough match, but I've been practising pretty well against him, so we'll see what happens."
Aussies’ day to celebrate
Kokkinakis wasn’t the only Australian putting together a long-awaited win on Monday.
Marc Polmans, 22, recorded his first victory on the ATP tour to reach the second round of the ATP 500 tournament in Washington.
The qualifier moved past Tunisian veteran Malek Jaziri with a 6-2 6-4 win to book a clash with French 10th seed Benoit Paire.
Polmans, who entered the tournament ranked 172nd, will edge toward the world’s top 150.
Brilliant last 10 minutes from Polmans, saving triple break point at *3-4. https://t.co/7Q6dKRqUqI
— Ace Tennis Previews (@Ace_Previews) July 30, 2019
Marc Polmans, also known as the Australian Lendl, beats Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-4 in Washington. It's a big win because it's the first time the Aussie has won a match at tour-level at the age of 22. Watched lots of this guy at the AO Playoff. Good competitor.
— Jake Davies (@jakedavi5) July 30, 2019
Kokkinakis and Polmans 😍😍😍😍
— Sascha the Vegemite lover (@Metronomical19) July 30, 2019