Rafa Roundup: January 16, 2014


… World No. 1 Rafael Nadal ended home favourite Thanasi Kokkinakis’ run at the Australian Open on Thursday, defeating the 17 year old 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round.

… “I really think he has fantastic potential,” says Nadal of his vanquished opponent. He’s joking and laughing with Todd Woodbridge, but is full of praise for the Aussie. “He has all the ingredients to be a fantastic player,” adds the 2009 Champ.

… Nadal’s fist pump on averting the crisis said plenty about the respect the Spanish bull has for Kokkinakis’s game. From there, Nadal ruthlessly hunted down his young foe to secure a third-round clash with either French 25th seed Gael Monfils or American Jack Sock for a place in the fourth round.

… “Jugué un gran primer set, y cometí algunos errores en el segundo. Acabé bien”, dijo el español. “Thanasi tiene un potencial fantástico, todos los ingredientes para ser un jugador fantástico”

… Though he’s only 17, Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis has proven he has major star power. Check out his conversation with Rafael Nadal before their second round matchup.

ICYMI: An interview with Rafael Nadal (full transcript)

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal defeats Thanasi Kokkinakis in R2 at the Australian Open


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