Thanasi Kokkinakis has managed to pull off a stunning upset against World No.6 Andrey Rublev at the Adelaide International 2, his first victory over a top 10 player since 2018. The 26-year-old overcame a first-set blow-up at the chair umpire to record a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory heading into the Australian Open.
The World No.110, who won the Adelaide International last year, was able to overcome a furious outburst at the chair umpire late in the first set to roll over Rublev in the subsequent two. Through to face sixth seed Miomir Kecmanovic in the quarter final, it's an encouraging sign from Kokkinakis, who will also defend his Australian Open doubles title alongside Nick Kyrgios.
Kokkinakis had to settle back into the match after being called for a time violation late in the first set. He was furious at the umpire, complaining that he had been waiting for the crowd to quiet down.
“No no no no no, that’s a s**t call,” Kokkinakis said. “What do you mean, ‘How do you know?’ Are you hearing how loud that is? I’m waiting for them to stop jeering.
“That’s a terrible call. What are you doing? You’re just trying to get involved. I’m waiting for them to stop. I was literally telling them to stop booing and now you’re giving me a time violation for that.
“I was ready, I was waiting for them to shut up. That’s your fault for not paying attention. So take it back. Why can’t you take it out? “It doesn’t f**king matter now. If you do your job then I can do mine. If you’re not watching me, that's your fault. What are you watching then?”
Kokkinakis faltered slightly in the second set, before closing out the deciding set in convincing fashion. Under huge pressure to defend the rankings points from his winning his maiden ATP Tour title last year in birthplace, Kokkinakis is set to at least remain in the top 100 after making the quarter-finals once again at the final Australian Open lead-up event.
Kokkinakis will play Kecmanovic for a place in the last four after the Serb eliminated fellow Australian Jason Kubler 5-7 7-6 (7-1) 6-4.
Thanasi Kokkinakis on a roll heading into Australian Open
After winning the same fixture in 2022, Kokkinakis said it was a thrill to be back on his home court. "I've had my best memories on this court," he said.
"Last year was an incredible feeling, something that you only dream of as a kid. To play in front on you guys in this atmosphere every night is incredible. Thank you.
"He hits the s**t out of the ball. He's a hell of a player, doing big things already and I'm stoked I got one of my biggest wins in front of you guys. So that's awesome."
Compatriot John Millman will turn his attention to an Australian Open wildcard crack after bowing out earlier in the second round on Wednesday The 33-year-old, who had a rough year on tour in 2022, was ousted 6-3 6-3 by world No.32 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Millman, ranked No.148 in the world, had battled through qualifying to reach the main draw of Adelaide and knocked off world No.38 Albert Ramos-Vinolas, another Spaniard, in the first round. Millman, who notched a win over Roger Federer at the 2018 US Open and has been as high as No.33 in the world, dropped down the rankings last season after suffering a bizarre eye injury in Mexico.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.