TennisSection previews the 2023 Dubai Championships as Borna Coric takes on Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.
Thanasi Kokkinakis kept his unbeaten run in the Middle East intact after winning his sixth match on the spin. Will he upset the pre-match favorite and World No. 20 Borna Coric to reach the quarterfinal of the Dubai Championships?
Thanasi Kokkinakis won the fifth ATP Challenger title of his career in Manama, Bahrain, this past week as he looked to make up for lost points in the first month of the season. Kokkinakis succeeded on that front and has steered his ranking on an upward trajectory. He won his sixth straight match in the Middle East after beating Quentin Halys in the first round of the Dubai Championships, saving multiple set points in the second set before coming away with a 6-4 7-6 win. Kokkinakis is projected to re-enter the top 100 after the tournament.
Borna Coric, meanwhile, did not even expend too much energy in his opening match of the Dubai Championships. His opponent Dan Evans was forced to retire with the score at 2-2 in the first set due to an ankle injury. He will be looking to reach his fourth quarterfinal at the tournament when he lines up to take on in-form Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Borna Coric leads Thanasi Kokkinakis 2-0 in their head-to-head, winning both meetings in straight sets during the course of the 2022 season. The Croat enters Wednesday’s match as the favorite, but Kokkinkais has enjoyed a relatively excellent return to form. Dropping down the ATP’s second tier last week has done wonders for Kokkinakis’ confidence. His game is gleaming too and with Coric’s season hardly catching fire just yet, the Aussie could puncture the World No. 20’s defense.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Thanasi Kokkinakis in 3 sets
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