Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis insisted Benoit Paire is “super talented” and a “tricky opponent” following their clash at Adelaide 2.
Kokkinakis, ranked at No. 145 in the world saw off former world No. 18 Paire 6-4 6-0 to reach the Adelaide 2 round-of-16.
“Playing Paire is always a tricky one, you never know what you’re going to get. He’s super talented and pull shots from anywhere, so I had to weather the storm a little bit.” Kokkinakis said on court, per Tennis Australia.
Kokkinakis routinely handled Paire
Kokkinakis had the first break point of the match in the fifth game but Paire saved to go 3-2 up.
However, Kokkinakis kept pressing as he claimed the first break of the match in the seventh game.
Paire faced a set point on his serve in the ninth game but saved to reduce the deficit to 5-4.
Failing to convert a set point in the ninth game didn’t affect Kokkinakis as he routinely served out for the first set in the 10th game.
After winning the first set, Kokkinakis broke Paire three times in the second set to book a straight-set win.
Kokkinakis, who made the Adelaide semifinal last week, plays John Isner next.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more to start the year. This time last year I was grinding,” Kokkinakis noted.
“He’s one of if not the best serve on tour, hopefully I’ll get a few chances and if I do I’ve got to be there and ready to take them.”
Kokkinakis, 25, is finally healthy and hoping to have a big 2022 season.
“Even though I’ve been around a while, it feels like I’m still relatively new, compared to matches played, tennis played and compared to all the other guys my ag,” Kokkinakis said.
“I still feel like I’ve got a lot to give, but last year playing a lot of tough matches in tough conditions, hopefully has set me up for a better year.”