Indian Wells, CA, USA, 17 March 2015 |

Thanasi Kokknakis has advanced to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells with a dramatic victory over Juan Monaco.

Kokkinakis held off the former world No.10 to record 6-2 5-7 7-6(5) victory before a packed crowd on Stadium 3.

He advanced to the last 16 where he will meet fellow Aussie Bernard Tomic; Tomic beat Kokkinakis earlier this season at the Brisbane International.

“Obviously I really want to win this next match, and it would be huge for me to make a quarterfinal,” Kokkinakis said.

Controversy reigned deep in the third set, with a number of umpiring decisions rattling the teenaged South Australian.

Serving for the match at 5-4, Kokkinakis thought he had sealed victory when Monaco missed a shot wide. Yet it was called good, and with no challenges remaining, the Aussie was unable to contest the call, despite Hawkeye showing it was out.

Shortly after, he lost a point for apparently playing a shot after a double-bounce, only for replays to show he had legitimately kept the ball and rally alive.

Incredibly, despite such distractions and despite his inexperience, he was able to refocus, sending the final set to a tiebreak and then proceeding to play steadier, yet often more aggressive, tennis than the Argentine.

“Tiring, but I’m more happy than anything,” Kokkinakis said. “Relieved as well. I made life difficult for myself, but he made it difficult for me, too.

“But I’m happy to get through.”

Kokkinakis is the first 18-year-old through to the fourth round at Indian Wells since Ryan Harrison in 2011.

Thanasi Kokkinakis (L) shakes hans with Juan Monaco after winning their third-round match at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells; Getty Images