It’s Aussie versus
Aussie non-Aussie at the Sydney International today as Jordan Thompson battles lucky loser and surprise call-up Nikoloz Basilashvili in a first-round showdown. Join The Roar for live scores and analysis from around 5.45pm (AEDT).
Thanasi Kokkinakis was the talk of the town leading up to the game, having triumphed in the Brisbane International doubles with Thompson, but it appears his injury woes haven’t yet abated, an abdominal strain forcing his withdrawal from the competition just before the scheduled start of play.
With the Australian Open just days away, this latest injury could not have come at a worse time for Kokkinakis, who joins countryman and friend Nick Kyrgios among the walking wounded after the latter’s withdrawal from the Adelaide World Tennis Challenge with a knee complaint.
His partner in that Brisbane International triumph, 22-year-old Jordan Thompson, is a man in form in both the singles and doubles, defeating David Ferrer on his way to the Brisbane International singles quarter-finals before being knocked out by eventual runner-up Kei Nishikori.
Thompson has progressed a long way since emerging onto the international scene with a heartbreaking five-set loss to Jerzy Janowicz at the 2014 Australian Open, and his current world ranking of 75 is more than justified.
His opponent, 24-year old Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, is a relative unknown on the international scene, but he has several notable career highlights under his belt. He reached the third round at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships, defeating 15th seed Feliciano Lopez on the way, and just this year made his first ATP final, losing to Italian Paolo Lorenzi in the Austrian Open.
In October, he also claimed his first big fish, taking out world number 10 Tomas Berdych in the Vienna Open.
Thompson would have been expecting to play good friend and doubles partner Kokkinakis in this one, but while the Georgian is an unfamiliar opponent, the hard-running Australian should be too good in this one.
Thompson in two sets.
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