Player Loses Cool Over Heat At Miami Open

Jake Cooper | 29 Mar 2021

The 2021 Miami OpenFriday saw Adelaide native Thanasi Kokkinakis win his first ATP 1000 contest since 2018. The Aussie tennis player beat Japanese young gun Shintaro Mochizuki in a dominating 6-3, 6-3 win at the Miami Open in sunny Florida.

His comeback victory was however overshadowed by his ranting reaction at a safety protocol he described as the stupidest rule he’d ever encountered. After he had been unsuccessful at convincing the chair umpire that since the ball boys on duty were permitted to hand balls to the competitors, it made no sense that players had to hold their own umbrellas for shade from the 26C Miami sun, he reportedly demanded confirmation also from the supervisor on duty. 

Not Fun In The Sun

Kokkinakis at the 2018 Miami Open completed his most famous victory yet when he caused an upset for Roger Federer during that year’s ranking. Friday’s win was his first victory at ATP 1000 level in three years.

The 24-year-old was completely caught off-guard when he was informed that he would have no shade unless willing to provide it for himself. He said he failed to see the reason behind the rule, whereafter the chair umpire reportedly related the incident to the supervisor by saying that the Aussie wasn’t getting any shade because of his inability to understand that he had to operate his umbrella himself.

The Turn-Around

But shade or no shade, the Aussie managed to make a turn-around recovery from a 0-40 opening game of the initial set when his 17-year-oldJapanese opponent handed him a comeback opportunity with a double fault during the fourth game.

The second set initially looked as though it might spell trouble for the Adelaide native, but Kokkinakis eventually after three straight breaks of serve took full control of the game before seeing off Mochizuki, who is a former junior world No. 1 and winner of the 2019 junior Wimbledon title.

Mochizuki, who also on Friday happened to be making his Masters 1000 debut, said after the match that it had been an incredible experience for him to play in Miami, and that after he had won two matches during the qualifying rounds, he had felt confident coming into the match against the Australian. He added that Kokkinakis had however caught him off-guard by constantly hitting big, and that at the end of the day, the better player had won.