Thanasi Kokkinakis has had a very successful year so far and despite a 6-4 6-4 6-4 defeat to Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros the 19 year old Australian can keep his head held high and can be very proud of his performance against the world number one. Despite losing in three sets to Novak the level of tennis from him was incredible to watch. He made Djokovic pull out some of his best tennis at times and to challenge the best in the world like that he can be very proud of his efforts.
It’s not the first time this year we have seen Kokkinakis be the headline maker as earlier on in the tournament he came from two sets down against fellow Australian to win in five sets and saved match points! This isn’t the first time he has done it. In Davis Cup he beat Lukas Rosol from two sets down to win in 5 sets and also won an epic match against Ernests Gulbis at the Australian Open at the start of the year! So far this year Kokkinakis has beaten 11 players ranked higher than him in all competitions this year.
Before Roland Garros Kokkinakis was due to fly out to Rome to play in the Rome Masters however he couldn’t make it due to a fire at the Rome airport so the Australian had to find somewhere else to go so he went to Bordeaux and played in a challenge event winning in qualifying and won 7 matches in a week to win his first challenger title!
What I like about Kokkinakis is that he has an all-round good game. He gets the basics spot on and can produce some excellent shots as we saw some good forehands down the line and drop shots against Djokovic. He may not have the skills as Kyrgios does but he does have that mental toughness in matches when he is playing well and not playing well. Kokkinakis played very well against Djokovic but despite being a set and a break down he carried and didn’t get frustrated where as we saw Kyrgios getting very frustrated against Murray and even received a warning from the umpire at one point.