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Kokkinakis's last-ditch Olympic shot


Thanasi Kokkinakis has flown to Europe for his long-awaited injury comeback and a last-ditch shot at making Australia’s Olympic tennis team.

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The South Australian hasn’t played following shoulder surgery in December and looked likely to miss Rio when a slower-than-expected recovery ruled him out of the French Open.

But he flew out of Australia this week to compete in the grass-court Wimbledon warm-ups, and his protected ranking of No.81 means he still has a shot at making the Olympics if he can prove his fitness.

Australia’s Olympic tennis team has been the subject of controversy with both Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic choosing not to represent their country in Rio.

On Friday, Kyrgios said that while representing Australia at the Games had been a childhood dream, it had been made clear to him the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) had other plans.

“AOC’s unfair and unjust treatment of me over the last four weeks, as well as the organisation’s crystal clear position on whether they want me to be a part of the Australian Olympic team, has solidified my final decision,” Kyrgios said in the statement.

The 21-year-old’s withdrawal comes less than a month after Australia’s world No.22 Tomic also pulled out of the tournament, citing a hectic schedule.

Kyrgios thanked Tennis Australia (TA) for their support in the battle with the AOC, but regretted not receiving the same backing from those within the Olympic team.

“Not one member of the AOC has reached out to me, my family, my team, or representatives of Tennis Australia, asking for a meeting or the opportunity to discuss their concerns,” he said.

– with AAP

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