Australian Open Tennis Day 4, 15th January , Melbourne Australia. Rafael Nadal V’s Thanasi Kokkinakis. Kokkinakis during the opening set. Pic George Salpigtidis Source: News Limited
Nadal – Kokkinakis 6 – 2 2 – 1 2 – 0 Nadal was in a considerable degree of trouble in this game as he faced two break-points on his serve at 15-40. However, the Aussie squandered both those opportunities as the top seed produced two great serves to bail himself out of that tricky situation.
1 – 0 Nadal gets the break here at the outset of the second set and with that takes a 1-0 lead. Even though the Aussie came up with a massive serve to put the game at deuce, the Majorcan wasn’t to be denied as he eventually won the game by drawing Kokkinakis into an error.
Nadal – Kokkinakis 6 – 2 With 16 winners and a 93% winning rate on his first serve points Nadal literally had a walk in the park in the first set as he secured it with a 6-2 score-line in just 32 minutes. Moreover, he committed just the three unforced errors all through the set – a sign that Rafa was at its very best in the set as he faced no problems at all in moving around his rival from one side to the other of the court and reaped rich rewards for his tactics as he broke the Kokkinakis serve twice to accomplish a 5-2 lead. Thereafter, in the ensuing game he served out the set with a perfect hold to love. 5 – 2 Nadal complete control of this first set now as he breaks the Aussie’s serve for the second time and will now serve for the set in the next game. The top seed is playing some fabulous tennis at the moment and is dominating the proceedings with the assistance of his heavy ground-strokes particularly from his forehand wing.
4 – 2 Nadal continues to serve big and into the backhand corner of the Aussie on most occasions than not and with that ploy he cruises through to a love hold to double his lead to 4-2. The former champion is all over the local lad at present and is simply overstretching him with the help of his lefty serves. 3 – 2 Some big serves help the Australian to hold his serve and keep himself right behind the World No.1. Kokkinakis has been serving fast and hard and has unsettled the Spaniard by mixing his serve.
3 – 1 Nadal confirms the break which he accomplished in the previous game with a hold to 15. With a couple of body serves that jammed into the body of his opponent, the World No.1 takes full control of the points in the game to stretch his lead to 3-1. 2 – 1 After a brilliant beginning to the match, Kokkinakis drops his guard in the third game of the match and with that loses his serve to hand over an early break to the World No.1 in this first set. The Spaniard will now look to consolidate the break in the next game.
1 – 1 Even though Kokkinakis struck two brilliant winners in this game, the 2009 champion was still able to hold on to his serve with ease as he fired in three aces – one at the T and two out wide to put the set at 1 game all.0 – 1 The Australian youngster makes a fine start to this match as he holds on to his serve to 30. He didn’t look nervous at all as he served really well and also hit the ball with great depth and precision.
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This would be the first meeting between the two players with the Spaniard coming into the match as an overwhelming favorite.
Up next on the Rod Laver Arena is a match between the World No.1 Rafael Nadal and the Aussie youngster Thanasi Kokkinakis for a place in the third round.
DAY 4 – SELECTED MATCHES
Elina Svitolina def Olivia Rogowska 6-4 7-5
Karin Knapp def by Maria Sharapova 3-6 6-4 8-10
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def Thomaz Bellucci 7-6 6-4 6-4
Rafael Nadal v Thanasi Kokkinakis, 2pm @RLA
Blaz Kavcic v Roger Federer, 5pm @Hisense
Nick Kyrgios v Benoit Paire, 7pm @MCA
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova v Victoria Azarenka, 7pm @RLA
Andy Murray v Vincent Millot, Last match @RLA