Australian tennis star Thanasi Kokkinakis doesn't have a sponsorship deal with Nike anymore but he is focusing on the positive as he joked now he can wear whatever he wants on the court. Kokkinakis, 25, enjoyed a great junior career and he signed a deal with Nike at a very young age.
Kokkinakis reached a career-high ranking of No. 69 in 2015 and he appeared to be primed for big things. Then, Kokkinakis was hit by various injuries and health setbacks - which caused him to miss significant time in the next few years.
Now, Kokkinakis is healthy and enjoying the tennis of his life. Kokkinakis lifted his maiden ATP title in Adelaide, before winning the Australian Open doubles title with Nick Kyrgios. "The good part about being dropped by Nike is I can wear whatever I want (laughs).
My style is just me. I think I was like this out of the womb!" Kokkinakis joked in Indian Wells.
Kokkinakis refused to quit and it paid off
Kokkinakis was in a dark place a few years ago but kept believing that one day the things would change for the better.
“My tennis in general – I worked so hard, grinding it out last year trying to get back to this point and then to show my best tennis on home soil means a lot,” Kokkinakis said. “I think I’ve always believed in myself, what I’m capable of, but it’s been the consistency and being able to back it up that’s been the most pleasing part for me."
Last week, Kokkinakis made his first Davis Cup appearance since 2015. Kokkinakis defeated Hungary's Zsombor Piros in the deciding fifth rubber to give Australia victory and a Davis Cup Finals ticket. “It’s a pretty cool feeling.
It’s been six or seven years but yeah, stoked to get a call-up from Lleyton,” Kokkinakis admitted. “Being around a good group of guys, everyone’s bonding really well, everyone’s hitting well … I’m stoked I got the call-up."