Image credit: Adelaide International
South Australian rising star, Thanasi Kokkinakis has full-filled the dreams of young aspiring tennis players around the country, by winning his first career ATP title in front of a home-crowd.
The 25 year-old beat Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech over the weekend in the final of the Adelaide International 2.
Described as an “Aussie battler”, Kokkinakis beat Rinderknech 6-7(6) 7-6(5) 6-3 at The Drive on Saturday night.
The Adelaide-born player has had an unlucky history of injuries since his start-out season in 2015, making his win largely emotional and significant.
Playing in front of a home crowd meant spectators became highly energised, as one of their own edged closer to victory.
As the final points went to Kokkinakis and the realisation of his win sunk in, watchers-on began to realised that they’d just witnessed a historical moment.
Many spectators took to social media to express their excitement following the game.
“That meant something – First title”, ABC’s Ali Clarke posted.
Not to mention some heavy-weight support from big-time tennis legends, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, who reached out to the Adelaide player with their congratulations.
In the women’s tournament, American Madison Keys took the top title, beating out fellow American Alison Riske, 6-1 6-2.
The Drive in North Adelaide has played host to some of the biggest stars in tennis in the lead up to the Australian Open.
A jam-packed program saw two tournaments held from 2-9 January and 9-15 January that featured the combined mens and women’s tournament followed by the second Adelaide International event – a WTA 250 and ATP 250 tournament.