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tennis | Australian Open: DTB duo continue

Tennis pro Yannick Hanfmann earned a duel with superstar Rafael Nadal with a strong opening performance at the Australian Open.

The 30-year-old qualifier from Karlsruhe surprisingly defeated the Australian crowd favorite Thanasi Kokkinakis 6: 2, 6: 3, 6: 2 on Monday and is now challenging the Spanish Grand Slam record winner in the second round.

Hanfmann was not disturbed by the loud Australian crowd against Kokkinakis, who recently won his first ATP title in Adelaide, and converted his third match point after 2:07 hours. He followed Dominik Koepfer into the second round, who beat the Spaniard Carlos Taberner 6:1, 3:6, 6:4, 6:1 after a concentrated performance over long stretches.

In his previous two appearances in the main draw in Melbourne, the Davis Cup player was over in the second round at the latest. Now the German number three is preparing to take the next step in a duel with Reilly Opelka (USA/No. 23) or Kevin Anderson (South Africa).

Koepfer was “happy” with the win, but also reported elbow problems after the match. “It’s okay with enough painkillers, it’s an overstrain on the bones. It was very good today, but I’ll probably have to take a few weeks off after the Australian Open,” said the former college player. Previously, Munich’s Peter Gojowczyk failed with a 3: 6, 3: 6, 3: 6 at the French Benjamin Bonzi.

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