Kokkinakis survives three-time Slam winner
If it feels like a long time in the making from the outside looking in, those eight years feel even longer for Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Not since 2015 had the Australian reached the third round in Paris – or at any other major for that matter.
On Wednesday, the injury-plagued 27-year-old needed five match points and four hours and 38 minutes to end former champion Stan Wawrinka’s spirited run, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3.
“The first set and a half he was playing I think the best tennis he could play,” Kokkinakis said. “I was nowhere. I was just trying to hang in there. I lost a match in a Grand Slam this year against (Andy) Murray from two sets to love. I didn't want to do it against another legend having 40-0. I was like, ‘Oh no’. You could imagine the things coming into my mind, he never went away.
“I've had a pretty crazy story. I came onto the scene pretty young. I was looking like I was going to have a big future, then I sort of went missing the last five years after that. Yeah back in the third round on clay. Who would have thought for an Australian, but my game suits it here, I love it.”