World No. 267 Thanasi Kokkinakis fell just short of beating No. 5 seed Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Australian Open but he was happy with the way he competed against one of the best players in the world. Kokkinakis, who received a wildcard for the Australian Open, competed extremely well against Tsitsipas but the Greek won 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-1 6-7 (5) 6-4.
"Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get over the line. But I’m not too far off, which is good,” Kokkinakis said, per Tennis Australia. “Matches like that are why I think if I can just keep getting in better shape physically and keep being able to play matches, there is no reason I can’t be where he is.
“That’s what I’m going for. I’ve got a long way to go, a lot of work to do, but I think (yesterday) proved to me, and a few other people, that I have still got it in me. I’m going to try to use this as motivation and keep kicking forward”.
Kokkinakis aims to return to the top-100
Kokkinakis acknowledged that he will have to think about his scheduling decisions this year. "It’s a little bit tricky,” he said of making travel plans. “Obviously this year I don’t want to go overseas and come back with a two-week quarantine.
I’ve got to pick my moments, because when I go overseas, I’ve got to be ready to go the whole time”. Kokkinakis achieved a career-high ranking of No. 69 in the world in 2015 before he was struck by various injuries.
“If I’m healthy, the ranking will take care of itself,” Kokkinakis said. “Obviously my short-term goal is to be top 100 and go from there, because I think I can go a lot higher than that. It’s a lot easier when you’re there (top 100) because then you can kind of pick and choose your schedules and the matches and the tournaments you’re going play from there. That will make my job a lot easier when I get there”.