Thanasi Kokkinakis out of the French Open after row with female umpire
Australia’s French Open singles campaign is over for another year after Thanasi Kokkinakis’ best career Grand Slam run ended in a fit of frustration and anger.
Kokkinakis lost 6-4 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5) in the third round to Russian 11th seed Karen Khachanov at Roland Garros on Friday.
Kokkinakis fought bravely to extend the match to almost five sets after a verbal battle with chair umpire Katarzyna Radwan-Cho.
At one point, Kokkinakis was annoyed at being denied the chance to go to the toilet after losing the second set.
“All I’m asking is to try and piss,” he pleaded with the officer.
Thanasi Kokkinakis got into a fight with a referee when he was dumped from the French Open
“I get two for a game. Do you want me to piss on the track? Is that what you want? So what do you want now?
‘I ask to go to the toilet. I like being cramped in my last match because I couldn’t .. be so brutal.’
He also balked at a call not to replay a point, despite being hampered by a line judge’s call as he touched the ball.
“Kokkinakis changed his mind at the shot, didn’t he, when he heard the call? He was expecting a replay of the point and then he heard the referee call the match score at 0-15,” commentator Brenton Speed said on Channel 9.
“If he calls while I’m making contact, it’s a nuisance. No? Then what is the rule if I make contact and he calls? Isn’t that a hindrance? You’re wrong,’ Kokkinakis told Radwan-Cho.
“For God’s sake, this girl is useless, mate,” Kokkinakis said angrily.
Despite the drama, Kokkinakis fought back to take the third set, before the world No. 11 went on tilt in the fourth.
Khachanov has reached the last four in the past two grand slams after knocking Kokkinakis’ doubles partner Nick Kyrgios out of the US Open quarterfinals last year.
But he looked beaten as Kokkinakis served for the fourth set, before forging a 4-1 lead in the fourth set tiebreak.
Unfortunately, Australia’s last man fell in Paris again in the third round – as he did in 2015 as a teenager – after surrendering his big lead in the fourth set.
Despite his disappointing exit, Kokkinakis is expected to move up 23 places to world No. 83, almost certain of a direct entry into Wimbledon next month.
But the 27-year-old will still regret whoever escaped after being left furious by the chair umpire on Friday.
At first he complained that she didn’t intervene about fans chattering in the stands.
“They talk on my serve at every point and you don’t say anything.” Kokkinakis said.
The Australian star lost in Paris in four sets to Russian rival Karen Khachanov
Kokkinakis was upset about a decision not to replay a point and not being able to use the toilet
Then, after losing the first set, the South Australian moaned about the waterlogging of the courts, to which Khachanov wholeheartedly agreed.
“It’s already the slowest possible conditions – ever – and you’re putting water on a track that isn’t slippery,” said Kokkinakis.
“The court is dying,” Khachanov said.
In even more troubling signs, Kokkinakis, having mentally lost his composure, began to physically collapse in the opening play of the second set.
He repeatedly grabbed his right pectoral muscle, tried to stretch the muscle between the points, and complained to his court that he had “zero power on serve.”
Agitated enough by a line call going against him, Kokkinakis blew his stack over the ‘useless’ chair umpire for failing to control the crowd before dropping his opening service game of the second set.
Kokkinakis rallied to win the third set, raising hopes that the unfulfilled talent would reach the second week of a grand slam for the first time – some eight years after making the last 32 in Paris for his previous best big result.
But it was not to be, as Kokkinakis finally surrendered after three hours and 42 minutes.