Former top-70 player and one of the most promising upcoming stars from 1996 generation, Thanasi Kokkinakis has been struggling with injuries for years now, unable to play pain-free and deliver his full potential regularly.
The Adelaide native played only nine tournaments in 2019, scoring three ATP wins and advancing into one Challenger final in the last event he played in September in Tiburon. Kokkinakis had to undergo a right shoulder surgery at the end of 2015, playing just one match in 2016 and missing all the action until May next year, struggling with an abdominal strain that made his comeback even more challenging.
Following a slow return that spring, Kokkinakis advanced into the first ATP final in Los Cabos in August, hoping for more of the same by the end of the year. Nonetheless, things went from bad to worse for the young Aussie who had to skip all the action after the US Open, kicking off 2018 from outside the top-200.
Motivated to leave injuries and a dark period behind him, Kokkinakis defeated Roger Federer in Miami to become the lowest-ranked player who toppled the world no. 1 in 15 years, showing signs of improvement and hoping for more of the same in the upcoming months.
There was no time to enjoy the massive win, though, suffering a knee injury in the opening set of Monte Carlo Masters against Karen Khachanov when he caught an advertising padding and missing all the events until Roland Garros.
By the end of the season, Thanasi conquered Aptos and Las Vegas Challengers to gain some points and confidence, preparing for the start of 2019 where nothing changed for better, struggling to stay injury-free or embrace the full calendar.
The Adelaide native is currently ranked 200th, working hard on a comeback in his hometown and hoping for a brand new start during the Aussie swing in January. Thanasi will not play for Australia at the ATP Cup, seeking other options to gain points and find himself in the main draw at the Australian Open that starts on January 20.