Thanasi Kokinakis’ hopes of winning the Adelaide International title were dashed by a talented French player.
Thanasi Kokinakis’ glorious Adelaide International run ends, with Australian wildcard losing in a straight set to French entertainer Gayle Monfils.
Kokinakis, ranked 171st after years of injuries and illness, lost this week to John Milman, Frances Tiafo and Mikel Emer on their way to their first ATP semifinals since 2017.
The 25-year-old also had his moments against Monfils, but the No. 1 seed didn’t have to look back as he snatched the momentum late in the first set.
This will be the 18th year that Monfils have made at least one final.
“It’s a big number. My coach told me (about it) that it was a big match, but there was no pressure, “said Monfils.
“It simply came to our notice then. And, I think it just shows the passion I have for the game and hopefully I have a lot more this year. “
Monfils did not miss a single set to advance to the Adelaide final, beating Kokinakis 6-5, 6-0 in the 70th minute on Saturday night.
Any chance that the crowd might lose interest in the cocaine’s resistance and declining strength was offset by Monfils’ boundless enthusiasm, extraordinary athletes and simple energy.
But it was still a disappointing ending for South Australian fans in the hope that their local favorites would win at least one more.
Kokinakis will still leave Adelaide with new confidence, ranking in the top 150 again and the Australian Open Wildcard.
Both men faced 15-40 holes at the start of the first set but got out of trouble.
Dynamic Monfils offered a lighter opening for most of the set than its Australian counterpart, mixing spectacular and high-octane shot-making with some surprising errors.
But whenever Kokinakis threatens, the French make a service bomb or a large strike on the ground.
The set was likely to be decided in a tie-breaker until Monfils decided to take an extra risk and pay a large dividend.
The 35-year-old hammered a great backhand winner down the line to give Kokinakis 0-30 in the 12th game, then Aussie recklessly widened a forehand to look at the triple set point.
The Monfils needed only two, full-blooded forehand with a set advantage in style that lost to Kokinakis in the net.
Showman was released.
Monfils flew into the air in an unsuccessful attempt to swat a high backhand volley at the start of the second set, then jumped into his chair after dropping a compressedly missed ball from the baseline.
Kokinakis quickly unveils when all this goes on, making three times more unforced errors (27) than the winners (nine) by the end of the night.
An offensive backhand pass hit the winner – one of 25 – on the way to the Monfils cross-court backhand pass 4-0 – and the celebration was even better.
In the next game, the experienced person pushes a short ball and can unnecessarily pound a straight smash by rocketing in the air as he can.
But arguably Monfils’ best shot was saved for the final game, when he smashed a forehand winner over Kokinakis in the net.
In the midst of all this, Kokinakis threw his racket in disgust, just to get it back and hit him in the eye.
Unfortunately it was one of those nights.