One of the main reasons why Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis hasn't been able to fully establish as a player in the ATP Tour is because of the amount of injuries he's suffered the last couple of years.
The 24 year-old, who defeated Roger Federer in the Miami Open 2018, went to the Australian Open with hopes of getting back into the best shape of his career.
Kokkinakis won multiple UTR events prior to the Australian Summer Series, and even played the ATP 250 in Melbourne as a preparation for the first grand slam of the year.
'Kokk' started the Australian Open in great fashion, defeating Korean Soon Woo Kwoon in consecutive sets to move into the second round of the tournament.
His great run in Australia would come to an end at the Rod Laver Arena though, losing to No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a five-set thriller in front of a great crowd.
Despite the loss, Kokkinakis won the home-crowd's heart, showing lots of passion and energy throughout the entire four hours and 32 minutes of the match.
At just 24, he’s already suffered serious back, knee, shoulder, groin and pectoral problems, as well as glandular fever which kept him out for the 2020 season.
“He wasn’t able to play all these years due to injuries that he had, and it was a big shame because we were missing someone who was not there with us on the tour,” Tsitsipas said.
“But I’m very happy to see him back competing at a very high level.”
Thanasi Kokkinakis, currently ranked No. 267 in the world, wore shirts and shorts purchased at K-Mart during the Australian summer because he currently has no clothing sponsor.
"It's a K-Mart special," Kokkinakis said. "Went to Chadstone [shopping center], bought some $6 tees and went to work. I just felt comfortable in it. I've tried to order some more online but they got canceled and they didn't make it through to South Yarra.
"It's tough out here, man. It's not what it used to be. That's all right, blue collar way."
Hopefully the curse on Thanasi's body has ended, so fans can witness the great level he plays at when fully-healthy.