Thanasi Kokkinakis among AO wildcard recipients

  • ausopen.com

Thanasi Kokkinakis’s standout week in Adelaide just became a whole lot better with the 25-year-old awarded one of eight men’s singles main draw wildcards for Australian Open 2022.

The former world No.69 charged into his first ATP semifinal in almost five years on Friday night before his home crowd, following wins over John Millman, fourth seed Frances Tiafoe and Mikael Ymer.

He will face top seed Gael Monfils for the chance to reach his second ATP final.

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The South Australian joins fellow Aussies Aleksandar Vukic, Alex Bolt and Chris O’Connell as main draw wildcards, as well as four-time runner-up Andy Murray, Frenchman Lucas Pouille, American Stefan Kozlov and former junior world No.1 Tseng Chun-hsin, of Chinese Taipei.

Kokkinakis will make his sixth appearance in the Australian Open main draw, where he has reached the second round three times.

He did so on debut in 2014, before he fell to Rafael Nadal, and in 2015, when he beat 11th seed Ernests Gulbis in a first-round thriller. Last year, he beat Soonwoo Kwon in the first round then pushed eventual semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets.

In Australian Open men’s singles qualifying, Rinky Hijikata, Dane Sweeny, Tristan Schoolkate, Philip Sekulic, James McCabe, Edward Winter, Akira Santillan and Li Tu were awarded wildcards.