Kokkinakis mounts comeback, Coric to face Sock at French Open

The ATP Tour’s youth movement reached new heights on Thursday at Roland Garros. Among those who booked spots in the French Open were Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Borna Coric, and Jack Sock.

Kyrgios did not even have to take the court in order to reach the last 32, as opponent Kyle Edmund withdrew a day earlier because of injury. With Kyrgios off the schedule, fellow Australians Kokkinakis and Bernard Tomic more than made up for the absence of the Kyrgios-Edmund match.

Moved up from from second to first on the Court 7 order of play, Kokkinakis and Tomic got the day started in extremely entertaining fashion. For a while, however, the showdown looked like it would be surprisingly routine. Tomic led 6-3, 6-3 before his younger countryman mounted a furious charge.

After Kokkinakis won the third and fourth sets, Tomic appeared to restore order to the proceedings. The No. 27 seed seized a 5-2 advantage in the fifth and got a look at three match points in the eighth game. But Kokkinakis saved all three, held for 3-5, and then broke back to keep his hopes alive. The 19-year-old ultimately prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, 8-6 after three hours and 22 minutes.

“I don’t think either one of us was playing great tennis the first two, three sets,” Kokkinakis reflected. “Eventually I kept hanging in there. I trusted my fitness and it paid off.”

Coric press conference:

Coric, also just a teenager, did the same. The 18-year-old survived a five-setter of his own, upsetting veteran Spaniard Tommy Robredo 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in almost four hours. Not unlike Tomic, Robredo at one point had all the momentum. The world No. 19 won the fourth set and soon broke for 4-3 in the fifth. Undaunted, Coric answered for 4-4 and took the match’s last three games to seal the deal in style.


Next up for the Croat is Sock, who also needed more than three hours in his second-round contest. The red-hot American overcame Pablo Carreno Busta, 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-1, 7-6(4). Sock, a relative geezer compared to Kokkinakis and Coric at 22 years old, is an awesome 13-5 this season with a title in Houston.

By comparison, the bottom half of the draw features only one player younger than 25 in the third round (Damir Dzumhur is 23).

3 Comments on Kokkinakis mounts comeback, Coric to face Sock at French Open

  1. Sock barely won that 2nd set….had to save at least 2 set points, and I wish tv had shown more of the K’nakis match. …and who is Koki playing in next round?

  2. Cant see Sock leaving his guts on court at the risk of jeopardising the next Popsock match.

    Coric for the win

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