Monfils ends Kokkinakis’ Adelaide ATP run

Murray Wenzel |

Thanasi Kokkinakis was left to rue a moment missed as the rejuvenated Australian’s Adelaide International run was ended by Gael Monfils.

The French top seed won their semi-final 7-5 6-0 on Saturday night, the runaway victory halting Kokkinakis’s otherwise encouraging start to the summer.

The world No.171, fit again after years of injury setbacks, had his chances in his first ATP semi-final since 2017.

But the turning point came at 0-30 on Monfils’ serve at 5-5, a loose Kokkinakis blowing his chance before then, incredibly, losing the next eight games to the athletic former world No.6.

The 35-year-old has now made an ATP final for the 18th year in a row, the charismatic French talent happy to play to the crowd on his way to a Sunday clash with Russian Karen Khachanov, who beat Marin Cilic earlier in the day.

A string of injuries have stunted the Adelaide player’s career ever since he won at the Australian Open on debut as a 17-year-old in 2014.

But the 25-year-old is fit and keen to make up for lost time, earning a wildcard at Melbourne Park after Adelaide wins over John Millman, Frances Tiafoe and Mikael Ymer.