Kokkinakis Stuns Top Seed To Reach Morelos Open Semis

Thanasi Kokkinakis (photo: Luciana Herrera Caso)

MORELOS, February 23, 2018

Thanasi Kokkinakis headlined Thursday’s quarterfinal action of the Morelos Open Crédito Real, a $50,000 ATP Challenger event held on hard courts in Cuernavaca, capital and largest city of the state of Morelos in Mexico.

The 21-year-old from Australia, who has returned to the courts from a torn pectoral muscle and entered the tournament with a wild card, knocked out No. 1 seed Andrej Martin of Slovakia 3-6, 7-6, 6-2.

Kokkinakis won one point less than his opponent but broke serve three times to prevail after two hours and 22 minutes. The No. 6 seed advanced to his first semi-final since finishing runner-up to Sam Querrey at the ATP 250 event in Los Cabos in July last year.

Next up for Kokkinakis will be Chilean youngster Christian Garin. The 21-year-old from Santiago edged past No. 3 seed Dmitry Popko from Kazakhstan 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Garin struck nine aces, winning 77 per cent of his first service points to prevail after one hour and 46 minutes.

Dennis Novikov emerged victorious from the all-US-American-encounter with Alexander Sarkissian 6-1, 7-6. The 24-year-old from California saved the only break point he faced, converting two of his own to advance in one hour and 18 minutes. Novikov, seeded third in Morelos, will next face the tournament’s No. 7, Pedja Krstin of Serbia, who ousted Kevin King from the United States 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 27 minutes.