Kokkinakis joins Duckworth in Indian Wells second round
UPDATE: James Duckworth has surprised Dominic Thiem to advance to round two of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, where Thanasi Kokkinakis later joined him.
James Duckworth has surprised Austria’s Dominic Thiem to advance to the second round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California.
Later on Thursday, wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis joined him in the second round, beating Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(3) 6-3.
Kokkinakis won in less than 90 minutes, sending down 10 aces en route to victory over the world No.73.
“I knew he was a great player. I got killed by him last year I think 2 and 1 the score was at a Challenger in Germany but obviously I knew coming here I’d played a lot of matches, (I was) feeling good, had some good tough wins,” he said.
“But I had to put it together on the day and I served really well, which helped me.”
Becoming the first 18-year-old to win a main draw match at Indian Wells since compatriot Bernard Tomic and American Ryan Harrison in 2011, Kokkinakis will next face 23rd seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Meanwhile Duckworth, a qualifier ranked 106th, beat the 46th-ranked Thiem 7-6(5) 6-1 in just over one hour.
Having now won three matches in a row after coming through the qualifying rounds, Duckworth appears set to crack the world’s top 100 for the first time.
The New South Welshman slammed seven aces and no double faults throughout the straight-sets victory; he won 82 per cent of his first serve points and not once faced a break point.
His next opponent is No.28 seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain.
On the women’s side, Jarmila Gajdosova won the first set but ultimately fell in three to Italian veteran Roberta Vinci.
Gajdosova started strongly but faded to a 4-6 6-1 6-2 loss to the former world No.11, who has since slipped to 40th.
“I couldn’t pull it off today. My comeback to Indian Wells after last two years missing it wasn’t successful. Didn’t play well today, felt tired,” Gajdosova tweeted.
“Mentally and physically just out of gas. Roberta stepped it up in the second and third set so good luck to her in her upcoming matches.
“Few days off now, time to go home to Washington, D.C. Spend some time with my fiancé, do some fitness and get ready for Miami in couple weeks.”
In other Aussie results, Marinko Matosevic and Sam Groth both fell in tight matches in the Californian desert.
Matosevic battled for three sets before falling 5-7 6-4 6-3 French qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin while Groth fell in two tiebreaks to Spanish lucky loser Daniel Gimeno-Traver.