Thanasi Kokkinakis experienced probably the most heartbreaking loss of his career at this year's Australian Open.
After dominating against Fabio Fognini in the first round, the Australian was up by two sets and a break against former world no. 1, Andy Murray, in the second round. However, in almost six-hour battle, Kokkinakis lost to the Scot.
After the match, Kokkinakis commented just shortly when he shared a picture on social media with a caption stating: "Don’t really know what to say…. Wow, this f**king sport man." Now, speaking to ATPTour.com, he opened up about how he felt at the time.
“Although it was a heartbreaking match to be honest and I had it in the bag a few times, as distraught as I was after the match, I actually really enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun out there. One of the only times I can say after a big loss, especially one where I was on the front foot the whole time, that I enjoyed it."
"Tennis is so results based that if you don’t win you’re just pissed and obviously I was pissed off, but I can look back at the summer I had and the level of tennis when I was playing at my best and try to take the positives away from that.”
The Australian highlighted how important it was to him that people gave him good feedback and supported him despite the loss.
“I’ve gone through worse stuff than losing a tennis match from being in a winning position. In the scheme of things it hurts for a little bit, but I had a lot of good feedback, a lot of people came up to me. Some idiots came up to me saying, ‘What happened?’ Not what I really wanted to talk about after, but for the most time it was encouraging signs.”
This year, Kokkinakis lost only five times, with two of those losses coming against former world no. 1 players, Carlos Alcaraz and Andy Murray. Therefore, the Australian feels good about his tennis and he will be hoping to continue with good results also in Miami.
“So far this year it’s taken a bloody good player to beat me, so I like to think my tennis is at a good spot. I’ve just got to try and keep pushing. You’ve got to have short-term memory in tennis. There’s another chance every week almost, so you can’t dwell on things too much.”