Thanasi Kokkinakis (born 10 April 1996) is an Australian professional tennis player.
Kokkinakis was born in Adelaide to Greek immigrant parents, Trevor (Tryfon) from Kalamata, Greece and Voula (Paraskevi) from Tripoli, Greece. Kokkinakis also has Greek citizenship. He is a citizen of Chomatada Pylos. His tennis idol growing up was Marat Safin.
In August 2015, Kokkinakis was thrown into the centre of a scandal sparked by compatriot Nick Kyrgios, who suggested during a match against Stan Wawrinka at the Montreal Masters that Kokkinakis had had an affair with Wawrinka's girlfriend, Croatian tennis player Donna Vekić.
As a junior, Kokkinakis had a break through when in March 2008 he won the 12 year old National Lawn Tennis tournament in Mildura beating Joshua Bray 6-1, 6-2 in the final. This was a big stepping stone after being beaten in the previous 12 year old National Hardcourt Tennis Tournament in January 2008 by Lochlan Greene in straight sets in the round of 16. This tournament was won by Nick Kyrgios.
Kokkinakis received a wildcard into the 2013 Australian Open juniors tournament and eventually reached the final taking down the 12th, 2nd and 11th seeds on his way. In the final he faced fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios. After having two set points in the first set he eventually lost 7–6(4) 6–3.
In June, he returned to competitive play at Wimbledon, and made the third round in the boys' singles and won the boys' doubles with Nick Kyrgios.
Kokkinakis lost the final of US Open Boys' Singles, losing in three sets against Borna Ćorić, 6–3 3–6 1–6. Following the result, Kokkinakis reached a career high junior ranking of 10.
Despite still being eligible, Kokkinakis elected not to play junior events in 2014 and instead focused on the men's tour.
2011–2013: Professional tour debut
Kokkinakis began his professional career in 2011 at the Australia F3 Future's event at the age of 14 where he lost 6–8 in the third set tiebreak to Leon Frost. He recorded his first professional win the following week against Kento Takeuchi at the Australia F4 event. He then lost in the second round to Michael Venus.
In 2012, after playing Futures events in Australia, Slovenia, Germany and the Netherlands, Kokkinakis equaled his best result of the year by reaching the semi-final of the Belgium F4 event. He then returned to play Futures in Australia where he reached back to back quarterfinals in the F5 and F6 events, losing to Luke Saville both times. He finished the year by reaching the semi-final at the Australia F12 event where he lost to Ben Mitchell.
He began 2013 by filling-in on the United States and German teams during the 2013 Hopman Cup as a replacement for injured John Isner and Tommy Haas. Kokkinakis competed in the qualifying competition of the 2013 Australian Open, losing to Steve Johnson 15–17 in the third set. Kokkinakis sustained a stress fracture in his back in the Australian Open boys' final which kept him out of competition until mid 2013. He then returned to competition playing Futures tournaments in the Czech Republic, Canada and the United States with the highlight being a quarterfinal of the Canada F5 event. In September and October, Kokkinakis competed in two Challenger events in the United States. The first was the 2013 Napa Valley Challenger where he qualified and reached the second round, going down to Bradley Klahn despite leading by a set. Then in the 2013 Sacramento Challenger he qualified and made the second round. He again lost despite leading by a set against Nick Kyrgios. As a result of this, his ranking increased to a career best of number 655. In October, Kokkinakis paired up with Benjamin Mitchell and won the Melbourne Challenger defeating Alex Bolt and Andrew Whittington in the final in straight sets. This increased his doubles ranking by 453 places, which put him up to a career high of number 505. He also reached the second round in the singles. He looked like he would cause a big upset after taking the first set against Matt Ebden before losing the next two sets. He finished his year at the 2013 Traralgon Challenger where he lost in the second round to James Duckworth in straight sets.
Despite missing half of the year due to injury, Kokkinakis finished 2013 with a ranking of number 627.
2014: Breakthrough to top 200
Kokkinakis began 2014 in qualifying at the 2014 Brisbane International after receiving a wild card. He qualified and drew fellow Australian and eventual tournament champion Lleyton Hewitt in round one where he went down in straight sets. On 8 January, Kokkinakis was awarded a wild card into the 2014 Australian Open. He defeated Igor Sijsling in the first round in four sets despite suffering from cramp. He was defeated in the second round by top seed and world number one Rafael Nadal.
Kokkinakis reached the semis of the 2014 Heilbronner Neckarcup coming through the qualifying and beating Jesse Huta Galung, Michael Russell and Marsel İlhan. He then lost to number 1 seed Jan-Lennard Struff and missed out on a place in his first ATP challenger tour final. Kokkinakis received a wild card in the French Open qualifying rounds, where he made the final, and despite having match point in the third set, he lost to Ante Pavić, 6–4, 6–7, 5–7. This result improved his ranking inside the top 300 for the first time. Kokkinakis won his first singles title in Canada on July 13, defeating Fritz Wolmarans in the final. Kokkinakis then qualified for the 2014 Shenzhen Open. He beat Egor Gerasimov 7–6(7–3), 6–1 in the first round for a place in the second round where he got beaten by 6th seed Santiago Giraldo 6–4, 6–3. Kokkinakis qualified for his second career Masters 1000 in Shanghai, but lost to Feliciano López in the 1st round 7–6, 3–6, 4–6.
Kokkinakis finished 2014 with a ranking of number 150.
2015: Breakthrough to top 100
Kokkinakis began 2015 at the Brisbane International where he received a wild card into the main draw. In the first round he defeated 8th seed Julien Benneteau in straight sets. He lost in the second round against compatriot Bernard Tomic. Kokkinakis and Grigor Dimitrov were also awarded a wildcard into the doubles event. They reached the semifinals, where they lost to Kei Nishikori and Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Kokkinakis received a wildcard also into the 2015 Australian Open, where he defeated 11th seed Ernests Gulbis in the first round, and then lost to compatriot Sam Groth in five sets in round 2. In February, Kokkinakis qualified for three ATP World Tour events; Memphis, Delray and Mexican Open. In March, Kokkinakis played his first live rubber at the Davis Cup. He defeated Czech, Lukáš Rosol in five sets, 4–6, 2–6, 7–5, 7–5, 6–3. He was awarded a wild card into Indian Wells where he defeated Jan-Lennard Struff, Guillermo García-López and Juan Mónaco before losing to Bernard Tomic in the fourth round. Next, he competed in the Miami Open, where he lost in the first round to Carlos Berlocq. Following, he competed in Istanbul Open where he completed three rounds of qualifying, but losing in the round of 32 to Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 7-5. Following Istanbul, he qualified for the Madrid Open, and he fell in the first round to Sam Querrey in three sets, however, this improved his ranking and broke him into the top 100 for the first time. He won the Challenger BNP Paribas Primrose (Bordeaux) defeating Thiemo de Bakker, then got a wildcard into the French Open, where he defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili and 27th seed Bernard Tomic in the second round before losing to eventual finalist and world number 1 Novak Djokovic.
Kokkinakis began his grass court season at the Queen's Club Championships after being awarded a last minute Wildcard following the withdrawal of Kyle Edmund. In his opening match he beat Jérémy Chardy, but lost in the second round to Gilles Simon. Kokkinakis was defeated in round 1 of Wimbledon against 24th seed Leonardo Mayer. He also contested the Men's Doubles with Lleyton Hewitt and the pair reached the 3rd round before losing to eventual champions Rojer/Tecău. Kokkinakis then played for Australia at the Davis Cup quarterfinals where he lost to Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets. He was then replaced in the reverse singles by Lleyton Hewitt who secured Australia a spot in the semifinals.
On August 12, 2015, Nick Kyrgios revealed that Kokkinakis had previously slept with Donna Vekić, alleged girlfriend of Stan Wawrinka, while playing Wawrinka at the Montreal Masters. Kokkinakis later responded to Kyrgios's comments, saying "I let him know. I made it pretty clear that he can't be doing that. If he's got a problem, he's got to say it in private. The way he went about it definitely wasn't the right thing." In his first match after the incident, he was involved in an altercation with American Ryan Harrison during their qualifying match at the Cincinnati Masters, with one report alleging that Harrison threatened physical violence against Kokkinakis and insulted his crew
Kokkinakis ended the year with a ranking of 80.
2016: Injury infested year
On 24 December 2015, Kokkinakis announced that he would sit out the entire Australian summer of tennis, including the Australian Open, due to an ongoing left shoulder injury. Kokkinakis also missed the 2016 French Open and 2016 Wimbledon Championships. Kokkinakis' first competitive match in 2016 came at the 2016 Summer Olympics where he lost in round 1 to Gastao Elias. On 25 August, Kokkinakis announced he would miss the US Open due to a pulled pectoral muscle.
Kokkinakis' made his comeback at the Brisbane International after receiving a wildcard in doubles with Jordan Thompson. The duo made it to the final, defeating the number one seeds en route, where they won the title, being the first Australian duo to win the Brisbane International, defeating Gilles Müller and Sam Querrey. Kokkinakis was granted a singles wildcard at the Apia International where he was scheduled to play Thompson in the first round, but withdrew due to injury. He subsequently withdrew from the Australian Open.
Kokkinakis made his Davis Cup debut for Australia in February 2014 against France at the age of 17. He was selected to play in the fourth rubber which was a dead rubber. He lost in straight sets to Julien Benneteau. He made his live debut in 2015, with a comeback win over Lukáš Rosol.
|All Davis Cup Matches: 2–3 (Singles: 2–3)|
|2014 Davis Cup World Group|
|Round||Date||Opponents||Tie score||Venue||Surface||Match||Opponent||Rubber score|
|R1||31 Jan–2 Feb 2014||France|| ||La Roche-sur-Yon||Clay (i)||Singles 4||Julien Benneteau||4–6, 1–6|
|2015 Davis Cup World Group|
|R1||6–8 Mar 2015||Czech Republic|| ||Ostrava||Hard (i)||Singles 1||Lukáš Rosol||4–6, 2–6, 7–5, 7–5, 6–3|
|QF||17–19 Jul 2015||Kazakhstan|| ||Darwin||Grass||Singles 1||Mikhail Kukushkin||4–6, 3–6, 3–6|
|SF||18–20 Sep 2015||Great Britain|| ||Glasgow||Hard (i)||Singles 1||Andy Murray||3–6, 0–6, 3–6|
|Singles 5||Daniel Evans||7–5, 6–4|
ATP Tour Finals
Doubles: 1 (1 title)
|Winner||1.||8 January 2017||Brisbane International, Australia||Hard||Jordan Thompson|| Gilles Müller |
Singles performance timeline
Current through the 2016 US Open (tennis)
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|ATP Masters Series|
|Indian Wells Masters||A||Q1||4R||A||3–1|
Professional career finals
Singles titles (2–0)
|Grand Slam (0–0)|
|Tennis Masters Cup (0–0)|
|ATP Masters Series (0–0)|
|ATP Tour (0–0)|
|Winner||1.||13 July 2014||Saskatoon, Canada||Hard||Fritz Wolmarans||7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–3)|
|Winner||2.||17 May 2015||Bordeaux, France||Clay||Thiemo de Bakker||6–4, 1–6, 7–6(7–5)|
Doubles: 2 (2–0)
|Winner||1.||21 October 2013||Melbourne, Australia||Hard||Benjamin Mitchell|| Andrew Whittington |
|Winner||2.||6 July 2014||Winnetka, United States||Hard||Denis Kudla|| Raymond Sarmiento |
|6–2, 7–6 (7–4)|