Thanasi Kokkinakis’ return to tennis continues to gain momentum with a comfortable win against clay specialist Fabio Fognini in the round of 32 at the ATP Geneva 250.
Days out from the start of the French Open, the Australian showed quality form on the dirt with a 6-4 6-3 victory against his 52nd-ranked Italian opponent, and will now set up a meeting with seventh seed Federico Delbonis on Wednesday night (AEST).
Fognini, a former world no.9, won a Masters 1000 title on clay in Monte Carlo in 2019, and recently took a set off 12th-ranked Jannik Sinner before going down in an epic battle at the Italian Open.
Kokkinakis began 2022 ranked 171 after injury troubles wiped out any progress in the last couple of years, but has worked himself up to 85th and has earned direct qualification to Roland-Garros.
Alex de Minaur started slowly before dismissing home favourite Ugo Humbert 1-6 6-3 6-2 in the round of 16 at the ATP Lyon 250.
The top-ranked Aussie will now meet Japanese lucky loser Yosuke Watanaki, who got his chance in Lyon after a player withdrawal despite losing his final qualifier for the tournament.
Watanaki, ranked 263, stunned eighth-seed Pedro Martinez in the first round, before sweeping aside South Korea’s Soon-woo Kwon in straight sets in the round of 16.
The news wasn’t as positive for Daria Saville, with the Australian suffering a disappointing 4-6 6-3 7-6(5) defeat to 116th-ranked Anna-Lena Friedsam at the WTA Strasbourg 250.
Saville can now prepare for the French Open after being given a wildcard through to the main draw.
Ajla Tomljanovic looks on target for a deep run at the WTA Morocco 250, with the second seed sweeping aside Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-5 6-2.