Kokkinakis returns to the French Open third round after a long absence

Surprisingly Thanasi Kokkinakis has only reached the third round of a Grand Slam once in his career, that was until he defeated Stan Wawrinka to again reach this stage.

Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis celebrates his win over Marin Cilic in Adelaide

The previous occasion was at the 2015 French Open.

With his powerful serve, aggressive playing style, and remarkable mental fortitude, he possesses all the necessary attributes to excel at the highest level of the sport, but injuries and illness have taken their toll.

Against the 2015 French Open champion, Kokkinakis was made to work hard for victory. Wawrinka now at 38-years was playing some brilliant tennis and he took the first set after breaking in the 8th game before serving out the set.

Kokkinakis levelled the match after breaking in the 12th game of the second set. He raced through the third set only to see Wawrinka strike back in a tiebreaker to send the match to a fifth set.

Wawrinka was briefly looking energised but that was short lived. Kokkinakis got on top for a while to build a bit of a buffer, it was needed as Wawrinka came back strong.

Kokkinakis had some nervous moments as he served to close out the match at 5-3, he did however fight his way to take the match 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.

After the match Kokkinakis mentioned his heartbreaking loss against Andy Murray at the Australian Open earlier this year after leading two sets to love. He didn’t want a repeat.

The Australian will face Karen Khachanov in the third round.

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