Thanasi Kokkinakis falters on his single’s return while Daria Gavrilova’s pre-French Open run continues

THANASI Kokkinakis’ long-awaited return to the ATP Tour’s top level didn’t exactly go to plan with the 21-year-old Australian falling to Uzbek world No. 81 Denis Istomin 6-3 6-4 in the first round in Lyon.

Kokkinakis, who has spent the last 18 months battling debilitating injuries to his shoulder and abdomen, delivered a serviceable performance but it appeared he was well below his best.

His forehand, usually a strength, was at times erratic and he failed to make any inroads on Istomin’s serve.

Istomin hit 10 aces and never faced a break point throughout the match and broke Kokkinakis in the first game of either set to make the second round in comfortable fashion.

Thanasi Kokkinakis has spent the last 18 months battling debilitating injuriesSource:Getty Images

There he will face tournament top seed Milos Raonic, who is looking for his maiden title of the season before heading to the French Open at Roland Garros. It was Kokkinakis’ first ATP Tour main draw singles match since he suffered a three-set loss to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in October 2015 at the Stockholm Open. Joining Istomin in the second round were young South Korean star Hyeon Chung, who thrashed Donald Young 6-2 6-3 and Argentine qualifier Nicolas Kicker, who beat Germany’s Dustin Brown 6-4 6-4 to book a second-round showdown with Nick Kyrgios on Tuesday.

Daria Gavrilova has enjoyed a good French Open build upSource:Getty Images

Local hope Gilles Simon was forced to work hard for his first round victory. The fifth-seeded Frenchman took three sets to get past Russian Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2.

Meanwhile,

Daria Gavrilova wasted little time beating 21-year-old American Louisa Chirico in the opening round of the Strasbourg Open.

The Australian world No. 25 defeated Chirico 6-2, 6-3 in just over an hour of court time to join fellow Australians Samantha Stosur and Ashleigh Barty in the second round.

Gavrilova will next play Russian qualifier Elizaveta Kulichkova, Stosur is set for a showdown with American qualifier Madison Brengle while Barty will play fellow qualifier Camila Giorgi, who shocked second-seeded Russian Elena Vesnina 1-6 6-1 6-1.

All three Australians are playing their last event before the French Open gets under way at Roland Garros on Sunday May 28 and Gavrilova is coming off a quarter-final performance at the Italian Open.

Originally published asKokkinakis falters, Dasha marches on

Source: Read Full Article