Greek Australian tennis fans can look forward to cheering on another homegrown talent in addition to Nick Kyrgios, at the Australian Open this summer.
Adelaide-born Thanasi Kokkinakis will join his friend and compatriot Kyrgios at the 2018 Australian Open having gained a wild card entry into the tournament.
For 21-year-old Kokkinakis, his wild card entry marks a welcome return to the event after shoulder and abdominal injuries in recent years saw him miss the last two Australian Opens.
Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt broke the good news to Kokkinakis last Sunday.
Kokkinakis said “I’m really grateful to Tennis Australia for the Aussie Open wildcard and can’t wait to get back out there and compete in front of my friends and family. It’s been tough missing the last two Australian Opens especially because it’s my favourite tournament and I was 17 when I played my first one. It’s been a pretty tough couple of years with my body but I’ve been working hard to get it right.”
Kokkinakis is currently ranked 211 in the world and is hoping to progress beyond the second round of the Open which he reached in 2014 and 2015, when he first broke onto the scene.
Another player set for the Australian Open in January is Nick Kyrgios who last month announced he was cutting his season short in a bid to overcome a troublesome hip injury.
Meanwhile, during the week, there was good news for 20-year-old Greek tennis player Valentini Grammatikopoulos whose win in a challenger level tournament in Senegal has boosted her ranking up some 30 places from her current ranking of 209, thereby guaranteeing her a place in the qualifying draw of the Australian Open this summer. Grammatikopoulos has won eleven singles and fourteen doubles titles on the ITF tour in her career so far.