Australian tennis star Thanasi Kokkinakis no longer has a sponsorship deal with Nike but is focused on the positive as he has joked now that he can wear whatever he wants on the court. Kokkinakis, 25, had a great junior career and signed a contract with Nike at a very young age.
Kokkinakis hit a career high of No. 69 in 2015 and he looked set for big things. Afterwards, Kokkinakis was hit with various injuries and health issues – which caused him to miss a lot of time over the next few years.
Now Kokkinakis is healthy and enjoying the tennis of his life. Kokkinakis won his first ATP title in Adelaide, before winning the Australian Open doubles title with Nick Kyrgios. “The good thing about being dropped by Nike is that I can wear whatever I want (laughs).
My style is me. I think I was like that right out of the womb!” Kokkinakis joked to Indian Wells.
Kokkinakis refused to quit and it paid off
Kokkinakis was in a dark place a few years ago but still believed that one day things would change for the better.
“My tennis in general – I worked so hard, I worked it last year trying to get back to this point and then showing my best tennis at home means a lot,” Kokkinakis said. “I think I’ve always believed in myself, in what I’m capable of, but it’s the consistency and the ability to back it up that has been the most enjoyable part for me.”
Last week, Kokkinakis made his first Davis Cup appearance since 2015. Kokkinakis beat Hungary’s Zsombor Piros in the deciding fifth game to give Australia victory and a ticket to the Davis Cup final. “It’s a pretty cool feeling.
It’s been six or seven years, but yeah, glad to have been called up by Lleyton,” admitted Kokkinakis. “Being surrounded by a good group of guys, everyone is bonding really well, everyone is hitting well… I’m glad I got the call.”