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Davis Cup: Experience counts for Thanasi Kokkinakis | 12 September, 2023 | All News | News and Features | News and Events

Davis Cup: Experience counts for Thanasi Kokkinakis | 12 September, 2023 | All News | News and Features | News and Events

As he prepares alongside Australians team-mates for this week’s Davis Cup assignment, Thanasi Kokkinakis is determined to make his experience count.

Manchester, Great Britain, 12 September 2023 | Vivienne Christie

When Thanasi Kokkinakis considers his career high points, Davis Cup will always factor.

In only his second appearance in the world team competition at age 18 in 2015, Kokkinakis recovered from a two-sets deficit against the Czech Republic’s Lukas Rosol – then ranked more than 100 places higher than the 133rd-ranked Australian – in Ostrava to win his first Davis Cup rubber.

“Probably my favourite memory was my debut, I’d say, for a live rubber,” said Kokkinakis, whose earlier experience of Davis Cup was in a dead rubber against Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the 2014 first round.

“When I was two sets to love and a break down and then coming back in Czech Republic and winning ­– that was probably my best moment (in Davis Cup).”

Representing Australia has since provided other memorable moments for the now 27-year-old, who successfully returned to the team in 2022 after a seven-year break due to health challenges.

Competing as the nation’s No.2 player, Kokkinakis sealed Australia’s progress over Hungary in the March qualifying tie with victory over Zsombor Piros in the live fifth rubber.

Later in the year, he was delighted to be part of the team when Australia finished runner-up to Canada in the 2022 Finals.

“We’ve had some special moments, obviously as a team,” Kokkinakis told tennis.com.au. “Making the final last year was a very cool experience.”

Kokkinakis is naturally delighted then to be a part of the Australian team – named alongside Alex de Minaur, Jordan Thompson, Max Purcell and Matt Ebden ­– contesting the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals in Manchester.

“It’s an exciting time … it’s good to be with the boys,” he related. “There’s not many weeks like it. They’re very different to the usual weeks that you get on tour, so it’s always an enjoyable experience – a little bit more pressure, but its good fun having a group and travelling with a team.”

The team’s first assignment in Manchester is against Great Britain on Wednesday, before ties against France (on Thursday) and Switzerland (on Saturday). The top-two performing nations from that group advance to the elimination stage of the finals in November.

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