Kokkinakis makes second round at French Open

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Thanasi Kokkinakis, the world No. 100, continued his winning streak against fellow Australian Alexei Popyrin, the world No. 51, at the French Open. Kokkinakis defeated his higher-ranked opponent for the third time in three meetings, joining Alex de Minaur as the only Aussies in the second round.

The match went the distance, with Kokkinakis needing all five sets to take down Popyrin, a former junior champion at Roland Garros. After Popyrin won the fourth set to level the match, Kokkinakis clinched the deciding set 6-3.

This was only the second time in the past 22 years that two Australian men have faced off in a first-round singles match at the French Open, and Kokkinakis had won both of their previous professional encounters on hard courts in 2023.

Kokkinakis was elated with the victory, as he now looks forward to a winnable second-round clash with Italian qualifier Giulio Zeppieri. The Australian had also reached the third round at the French Open in 2023.

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