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Tennis: Tsitsipas holds off Kokkinakis to win Greek epic

Tennis: Tsitsipas holds off Kokkinakis to win Greek epic

Stefanos Tsitsipas hits a backhand during his marathon victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis. (Photo: AFP/Brandon Malone)

MELBOURNE: A Greek tragedy threatened to befall Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open on Thursday (Feb 11) before the fifth seed steadied to fend off local wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-7(7-5), 6-4, 6-1, 6-7(7-5), 6-4 and reach the third round.

The day after Nick Kyrgios sent John Cain Arena into delirium with a thrilling comeback, 267th-ranked Greek-Australian Kokkinakis appeared set for the boilover of the tournament when he threaded a backhand down the line to send the match into a fifth set at Rod Laver Arena.

It was not to be, though, as Tsitsipas captured the decisive break in the fifth game and held on grimly to close out an epic that lasted four hours and 32 minutes.

Tsitsipas will meet Sweden's Mikael Ymer for a place in the fourth round.

Source: Reuters/kg

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