US Open qualifying: Kokkinakis back from the brink
UPDATE: Thanasi Kokkinakis has come through a tense three-set battle in the first round of qualifying on Monday at Flushing Meadows, while James Duckworth and Arina Rodionova also advanced.
Thanasi Kokknakis has recovered from a third set deficit to oust Croatia’s Nikola Mektic in the first round of US Open qualifying on Monday.
The 18-year-old Kokkinakis was broken early in the final set before clawing his way back to 3-3, eventually closing out the 61-minute set to win 6-3 4-6 6-4.
The South Australian had lead 6-3 4-1 before going on to lose seven straight games; the impressive recovery sees him go on to face fellow teen Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, who upset fifth seed Horacio Zeballos.
Earlier in the day, James Duckworth and Arina Rodionova also advanced to the second round after scoring three-set victories.
Duckworth overcame France’s Axel Michon 6-3 5-7 6-2, his 12 aces helping him to victory in one hour and 54 minutes.
Next up is American wildcard Ernesto Escobedo.
Rodionova upset No.31 seed Sachia Vickery of the US, recording a gritty 7-5 4-6 6-4 victory.
The Victorian proved the steadier of the pair, with Vickery dishing up seven double faults and 64 unforced errors to Rodionova’s tally of 35.
Rodionova takes on China’s Zhu Lin in the second round.
Alex Bolt was unable to join his compatriots in the next round, falling 6-3 6-4 to fourth seed Facundo Bagnis of Argentina, while fellow Aussie John-Patrick Smith went down 6-1 3-6 6-3 to Emilio Gomez of Ecuador.
Matt Reid found ninth seed Peter Gojowczyk of Germany too strong, losing 6-2 6-2.
Ben Mitchell was the last of the Aussies in action on Monday, falling 6-2 6-7(4) 6-1 to Belgian Ruben Bemelmans.
Four Australians will take to the courts on Tuesday for their first round qualifying matches.