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Wimbledon: Kokkinakis saves four match points in five-set win

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Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis has yet again produced a stunning comeback, this time against No.17 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round of Wimbledon on Thursday morning (AEST).

The world No.93 fell behind two sets to love and was made to fend off match point on four separate occasions across a third-set tiebreaker.

Rain then suspended play, with the match carried over from Tuesday evening to Wednesday afternoon in London.

When the pair resumed, Kokkinakis came out like a man possessed. He powered through sets four and five to win 4-6, 5-7, 7-6 (9), 6-4, 6-4 and book his spot in the second round of Wimbledon.

Aussie becoming five-set king at Grand Slams

Fighting it out in a deciding set is not unfamiliar territory for Kokkinakis.

The clash was the 28-year-old’s fifth five-setter in six Grand Slam matches this year, with his last four all going the distance.

Last month at the French Open, he even came back from two sets to love to win.

“I’d rather not [go five sets],” said Kokkinakis after his victory over Auger-Aliassime.

“It doesn’t help me going deeper in the tournament.

“I’m glad it is five sets [at Grand Slams] though, otherwise I wouldn’t have won many matches this year.”

The Aussie’s track record makes him a brilliant candidate for a well-timed bet.

Many tennis bookmakers offer live betting odds that fluctuate depending on a matches progress.

Punters that had wagered on Kokkinakis to win when he was down two sets to love would have been in for a hefty pay day.

Kokkinakis almost botches comeback early

Despite Kokkinakis successfully turning around the momentum of his first-round match in the third set, it was not all plain sailing for the Australian.

He raced out to at 5-0 lead in the third-set tiebreak and looked set to force a fourth with ease.

However, the wheels rapidly fell off for Kokkinakis, as he lost six points in a row. A 5-0 lead quickly became match point down, with Auger-Aliassime serving at 6-5.

Some clutch returning and a solid first serve helped Kokkinakis get across the line from there, much to his opponent’s dismay.

Fellow Australians Jordan Thompson and Aleksandar Vukic weren’t so lucky on day three of Wimbledon, however.

Thompson had been touted as a dark horse who could do some damage on grass this year, but he went away meekly to No.65 Brandon Nakashima in straight sets.

Vukic, meanwhile, proved no match for Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz, who is second favourite ($3.10) to win the title at Wimbledon.

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