Thanasi Kokkinakis’ dream of reaching a second hometown final at the Adelaide-2 event died on Friday at the hands of Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3.

The experienced Spaniard ranked 26, worked his way past the local crowd favourite into his 22nd career final and his first in Australia.

Kokkinakis, Australian open doubles winner in 2022 with NIck Kyrgios, lost the opening set in a tiebreaker, levelled by winning the second but fell behind 4-1 in the third set as RBA saved five break points.

The 34-year-old held his nerve over the ensuing four game to earn victory on his first match point.

The contest lasted for more than two and a half hours, leaving Kokkinakis stunned.

His opponent will aim for a season-kickoff title on Saturday against South Korea’s Soowoo Kwon, a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (2), 6-3 winner over Brit Jack Draper.

Bautista Agut is earning the reputation as a fast starter each January, with titles earned during this month from 2016-2020.

“It’s always good to be back home after a long season,” said the Spaniard whose toddler son Roberto Jr. ran onto the court in diapers to greet his father during post-match interviews.

“I take a few days off and get back to work. I always feel good at the start of a season. 

“The most important thing for me is the ball and I like the ones here.”

Main photo:- Roberto Bautista Agut and son steal the show after Adelaide 2 win – by


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