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#NextGenATP Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis celebrates his first Top 10 win on Tuesday against Milos Raonic in London.

#NextGenATP Kokkinakis Notches Career-Best Win

Aussie stuns Raonic on the grass

On a day of upsets, #NextGenATP Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis pulled off the biggest win of his career on Tuesday, stunning World No. 6 and 2016 finalist Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 7-6(8) in the first round of the Aegon Championships in London.

The win is Kokkinakis' first Top 10 victory and should accelerate him down the comeback trail. The 21 year old has dealt with a barrage of injuries during the past two seasons. Last year, he played only one tour-level match after enduring shoulder surgery on 29 December 2015 and battling a pectoralis strain.

This season, after winning the Brisbane doubles title with countryman Jordan Thompson to start the year, Kokkinakis had to miss more than four months because of an abdominal strain. But Kokkinakis returned to tour-level singles action in Lyon last month and picked up his first tour-level singles win of the season last week at the Ricoh Open in s'-Hertogenbosch (d. Youzhny).

“It's huge. Best win of my career, and to do it so soon after coming back on [after] such a long layoff is a huge confidence booster for me,” Kokkinakis said. “My serve helped me in it, and then I won the big points when it mattered.”

The Next Gen ATP Finals hopeful looked healthy and played with confidence against Raonic, who lost only two grass-court matches last season, both to Andy Murray in title matches, The Queen's Club and Wimbledon. The right-handed Kokkinakis, who received a wild card into the main draw, belted 15 aces and saved all nine break points against the third-seeded Canadian.

Kokkinakis never saw a break point on Raonic's serve but the Adelaide native came through in both tie-breaks. The World No. 698 struck an inside-out backhand on his third match point to advance in just over two hours.

Today I just didn't find my way,” Raonic said. “I had more opportunities than I felt I should have needed. I just wasn't efficient in those moments.” 

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In another big upset, Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, a finalist last week on the grass in Stuttgart, kept up his top form by knocking off second seed Stan Wawrinka 7-6(4), 7-5 in 91 minutes. “I knew that I was going to have another chance here this week at Queen's. It's a tournament that I love. Obviously it was not the best draw to play Stan, but I was confident after winning a lot of matches in Stuttgart that I could do well today,” Lopez said. “So I feel very pleased [with]... the way I played, it's very similar to the way I was playing last week.”

The 35-year-old left-hander hit 16 aces and saved both break points faced. A single break in the second set clinched it for Lopez. Wawrinka was playing in his first match since falling to Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros final earlier this month.

“When you play Feli on grass, you know that it's going to be a tough match. He's playing with confidence from last week, making the final. We played each other a few times in the past,” Wawrinka said. “Today was a tough match. Really sad to have lost it. I think in general for the first match on grass, the game wasn't that bad. I was serving quite well. But again, there is still a lot of work to do physically and on my tennis, on my game, to be in a better place on grass.”

#NextGenATP American Stefan Kozlov also earned an upset to start his stay at The Queen's Club. The 19 year old improved to 2-1 against American Steve Johnson in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory.