Thanasi Kokkinakis recently interacted with a ball boy who was hit by a strong serve and checked on his well-being.
Kokkinakis is currently competing in the 2023 Adelaide International 1. On Monday (2 January), the Australian wildcard overcame American Maxime Cressy 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7) to advance to the tournament's second round at Memorial Drive Tennis Centre. The World No. 93 will next face No. 6 seed Italian tennis sensation Jannik Sinner.
In the match between Thanasi Kokkinakis and Maxime Cressy, the American served a 208km/h ace that ended up hitting a ball boy in the stomach. Cressy then issued an apologetic wave, while Kokkinakis stepped up to check on the child, who was standing firm despite getting such a strong hit. The Aussie spoke to him politely and gave him an uplifting bump before continuing his match.
He later reacted to the incident on Twitter, writing:
"Kids got n*ts"
"Novak Djokovic will probably end up being the best to ever do it" - Thanasi Kokkinakis
Thanasi Kokkinakis stated in a news conference prior to the start of the 2023 Adelaide International 1 that Novak Djokovic will most likely wind up being the "best to ever do it."
"Stats-wise and everything like that, [Novak Djokovic] will probably end up being the best to ever do it, at least in the short-term anyway. He's got crazy fans. The Serbs love it and get behind him. He's got massive support Down Under, how well he's done in Australia, as well, at Aussie Open," Kokkinakis said.
He continued and stated that due to Djokovic's presence in the tournament, many players were flying under the radar. He also anticipates that the other top-10 players would also give stiff competition.
"Yeah, everywhere you look, there's a top-10 guy hitting with a top-10 guy. It's almost like Medvedev is flying under the radar; Holger, who just won Paris Masters, is flying a bit under the radar; Felix, who had a massive back end of last year," Kokkinakis said.
"There's [a] hell of [a lot of] players wherever you look. Obviously, it's going to be the Djokovic Show, but there's a lot of good players that are more than capable of winning this title," he added.
The 26-year-old claimed that as the defending champion, he was under a great deal of pressure and that the burden was bigger than the fans were aware of. He did add, however, that he appreciates the home crowd's support as it gives him "legs to play."
"I guess there's pressure on because everyone is like, 'Oh, defending champ, are you going to do it again?' It's like, I don't think they realize how hard that is. That's my best tournament ever, and it's happened in, I don't know, how many years of tennis I've played. So, it's not going to be like, 'Yeah, yeah, I'll defend it, no worries,'" Thanasi Kokkinakis explained.
"Djokovic is playing, best ever, one of the best ever. It's a crazy field. I always love the support when I come down here. It gives you legs to play, and I'll never forget those moments last year with the crowd getting behind me," he added.