Tuesday 20 February 2018 / 10:59 AM


Australia’s Jordan Thompson and Thanasi Kokkinakis have not been able to repeat their thrilling first round wins at the Queen’s Club tournament, both bundling out in Round of 16 action overnight.

Thompson shocked World No. 1 and reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in the opening round, however big-serving Sam Querrey proved too powerful, defeating the young Aussie 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3.

Querrey fired down 15 aces, winning 82 per cent of his first service points, compared to only four aces from the less experienced Thompson.

But Thompson can now head to Wimbledon in confident form, despite the defeat, having only entered main draw action as a lucky loser.

However, he admitted he felt frustrated he couldn’t continue his tournament after his inspiring upset against Murray.

“I hadn’t been broken all match, then got broken twice in a row,” Thompson said.

“I had a love-40 opportunity (in the third set) and didn’t take it. That’s tennis I guess. I shouldn’t have even been in the draw so to get a couple of matches is some good preparations for Wimbledon.”

Fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis also crashed out of the Wimbledon lead-up event, unable to back up his emphatic victory against Milos Raonic.

The wildcard described his 59 minute 6-2, 6-2 loss to Daniil Medvedev as ‘the worst performance of his career.’

“I don’t think I played this bad before ever,” Kokkinakis said in his post-match media conference.

“It’s tough obviously with a bit of expectation after getting my best-ever win last match.”

He added: “My serve and forehand are usually the things I rely on and even those were off with the fairies somewhere. I don’t know what it was. I couldn’t put a ball in the court. It was horrible. I’m dwelling on it big time.

“I wish I could put it to one side. As tennis players you have to have short- term memory but for me, this one is probably going to stick around for a while.”

However, the 23-year-old refused to blame his long injury lay-off as an excuse for the defeat.

“I’d say it was probably 99 per cent mental,” he said.

“Yeah, I’m sore but that wasn’t the reason today. My body didn’t really hold me back. The way I played today, I don’t think I would have beaten a futures player – I just need to get better.

“I was just trying to loosen up my shoulders and play free. I couldn’t do it. Even in the warm-up I felt tight, so I thought, ‘This is not looking good’.”

Kokkinakis is now scheduled to play in some exhibition events before Wimbledon begins on July 3.

In contrast, Daria Gavrilova and Ashleigh Barty have continued their winning runs at the WTA event Birmingham to both reach the quarterfinals.

Ninth seed Gavrilova edged Katerina Siniakova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 to set up a showdown with an in-form Lucie Safarova.

Meanwhile, Barty also battled through three sets to overcome eighth ranked Barbora Strycova. She’ll now face Camila Giorgi at 12:15am tomorrow morning AEST time.

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Alyssia Varricchio

Alyssia Varricchio is a sports reporter, journalist and producer based in Melbourne.

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