2016 was a tough year for Thanasi Kokkinakis. The rising Australian star was pegged among the best of a deep crop of young players, but the 20-year-old’s hopes were derailed last season by a series of injuries including recovery from shoulder surgery, a groin injury and a pectoral strain all of which limited him to just one event, the Rio Olympics.
“It was the worst year of my life, for sure,” Kokkinakis said in Brisbane. “I don’t want to be dramatic but it was, it was absolutely horrendous.
“Really there was nothing positive about it, apart from playing the Olympics which was a cool experience.”
Kokkinakis, who reached a peak of No. 69 in the rankings 18 months or so ago, returns with no ranking but protection of No. 81. He’s in doubles this week with Jordan Thompson but hopes to return to singles in Sydney and at the Australian Open.
“It should be fun in the doubles with Jordan,” he said. “I played with him once in a Challenger event a few years ago, but it’s been a while so I’m looking forward to it. If it goes well in the doubles here, I’m going to try and start my singles in Sydney.
“I’ll just have to wait and see how the body pulls up. It’s not 100% yet, but it’s getting really close now and it’s the best I’ve felt in a long time. So I’m going to Sydney and then I will see how I feel for the Aussie Open after that, but fingers crossed I’ll be good to go.”
Thanasi meets the ballkids in Brisbane:
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