The Australian had an interesting love-hate relationship with the Grand Slam in the French capital over the past few years. Out of the all majors, he attended it the least times, but at the same time, it's the only Grand Slam at which he made it past the second round.
That success came in 2015 for Kokkinakis. Back then, he received a wild card and defeated qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili and also stunned 27th-seeded Bernard Tomic. Then, the Australian lost to the world no. 1 and eventual champion, Novak Djokovic.
This year, Kokkinakis received the wild card again. But the draw for the 2023 Roland Garros wasn't so nice to him. In the first round, he was drawn against Daniel Evans, player he met once on the ATP Tour and lost in that match. However, in a Davis Cup match eight years ago, the Australian was able to win and he wanted to do that again in France.
In the first set, everything went well for Kokkinakis. He had all the break points and after using his fifth, he was able to control the rest of the first set on his serve, winning it 6-4.
But Evans refused to go down without a fight and broke first in the second set. However, the Brit seemed to be distracted by the happenings around the court, as he also complained about his opponent's box in the second set. That resulted in Kokkinakis taking charge, breaking back, and adding one more break to win the second set 6-4.
In the third set, fans in Paris saw more than one break once again, but yet again it was Kokkinakis who got one more break than his opponent. The Australian won also the third set 6-4, resulting in a comfortable 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win.
Up next, the Australian will await a very difficult opponent. It will be either a three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka or a clay-court specialist Albert Ramos Vinolas.