What might have been for Kokkinakis

Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis has seen his run come to an end at Roland Garros after a 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(5) against the no. 11 seed Karen Khachanov.

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After making the most of his wildcard, Kokkinakis found himself two sets to love down to the hard hitting Khachanov as they fought for a fourth round berth.

As the conditions warmed up so did the play of the Australian. He came back to win the third set and was serving for the fourth set.

Kokkinakis held a set point at 5-4, 40-30 only to see a down the line shot go just wide. Khachanov would break before several held service games sent the fourth set to a tiebreaker.

The Australian raced to a 4-1 advantage however a crucial error at 2-0 would be costly.

Kokkinakis fired down a big first serve that Khachanov only just got a racquet to, the ball sailed back and landed well inside the service line. With Khachanov at his mercy, Kokkinakis would hit long.

At 4-1 things came undone for the Australian as Khachanov lifted his intensity and Kokkinakis started making unforced errors.

The score went from 4-1 to 6-4 in a matter of minutes but Kokkinakis would save a match point despite breaking a string.

With a second match point Khachanov served and came to the net behind a crushing forehand, Kokkinakis hit a hard and low passing shot that Khachanov brilliantly volleyed, the Australian was wrong footed as the ball landed in as Kokkinakis had fallen onto the red clay.

Again costly mistakes had just taken the edge off an otherwise brilliant performance.

We are left to wonder what might have been.

Kokkinakis, who had been aiming to become the first Australian man to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros since Lleyton Hewitt in 2007, can still take many positives from the tournament.

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