TennisSection previews the 2022 Adelaide Open as Gael Monfils takes on Thanasi Kokkinakis in the semifinal on Saturday, January 8th, 2022.
Will Gael Monfils spoil the party for home hope Thanasi Kokkinakis when the pair square off in the a mouthwatering semifinal match at the 2022 Adelaide Open? Monfils is in excellent form, recording a pair of routine wins to reach this stage, but will have to upstage Kokkinakis and the Australian faithful on Saturday.
Gael Monfils has lived to the billing as the top seed. The Frenchman was keen to atone for last year’s horror show Down Under. He began his 2022 Adelaide Open campaign with an emphatic 6-2 6-1 win over Argentine clay-courter Juan Manuel Cerundolo. Against the fourth seed Tommy Paul, he braced himself for a tough bout. However, it turned into a procession, as the Frenchman’s superior athleticism wore down the American World No. 43 with such ease. He manufactured as many as seven break points, converting five and won 72% first-serve points. Things are about to get even more serious for Monfils as he takes on Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Thanasi Kokkinakis, for his part, toppled Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in three pulsating sets. In a match that lasted 15 minutes shy of three hours, it was the former World No. 171 who rose to the occasion and embraced the crowd’s support to clinch a 7-6 4-6 6-4 win. Kokkinakis likened Ymer’s resistance to that of a brick wall during the post match interview, but was cheered on by a vociferous home support that made him cross the finish line. The Swede produced an untimely double fault in the 10th game of the third set while at 30-all, before Kokkinakis forced Ymer into an error in the subsequent point to pick up the win.
Gael Monfils and Thanasi Kokkinakis have no previous history. Saturday’s match at the Adelaide Open will mark their first official meeting. The Australian has played back-to-back marathon matches, but rose to the occasion when the contest entered into Iron Man territory. Could that have come at a cost though? I think so. Even at 35, Gael Monfils is one of the fittest tennis players out there. He can be a show off at times, but he is a really stoic competitor. Monfils experienced a few lapses in beating Paul, but nothing to suggest he can be upset by Kokkinakis. If this goes the distance, Monfils should have the an extra ounce of energy in his legs.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Gael Monfils in 3 sets.
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