Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jordan Thompson have taken out the doubles title at this year’s Brisbane International against Sam Querrey and Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.
The first ATP final for both young Aussies, the wildcard duo were on fire at Pat Rafter Arena on Sunday night, resulting in a 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 win.
A particularly impressive performance give that the players were not meant to be playing together until other players sustained injuries, leading them to become the first Australian pairing to win the tournament’s men’s doubles crown.
“Our first week together, we weren’t going to play together, but were put together last minute. I’m not regretting one bit of it,” Kokkinakis said.
Returning after 15 months following shoulder surgery, while Kokkinakis may not be at 100 per cent fitness, it was no doubt an impressive return.
Though he is not sure whether he will contest the Australian Open, he is happy to be back on court and is looking forward to the Sydney International.
“Obviously I want to play but honestly it’s 50-50 at the moment because I know how much of a step up five sets is,” Kokkinakis said.
“If I don’t play singles I want to play the doubles at least, maybe even mixed [at Melbourne].”
The South Australian was only meant to be off the court for three months when he underwent a shoulder reconstruction in December 2015; a challenging time for the young player who when asked how he stayed positive during the 15 months admitted “I didn’t”, reports AAP.
“I was trying to. The worst part about it was the dates I had set [for a return] … just kept getting pushed back and back and back.
“Then once one thing got better, something else went and vice versa.
“I’m still not where I want to be physically. I think I’m still a fair way away,” and at this point says he is just looking to stay injury free.
“That’s my expectation for the year and the next year and the year after that because I have missed way too much time,” Kokkinakis said.
“There’s nothing worse than when you’re an athlete and for that to be taken away and your best friend being a TheraBand (stretching band).”
Kokkinakis and Thompson will be crossing paths again, but this time as opponents having drawn each other for the Sydney International.