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Thanasi recovered for Rio, if he only had a racquet


Thanasi Kokkinakis’s plans to hit a few balls changed to hitting the phones as the Adelaide-born tennis star searched for a racquet to borrow to start his Olympic preparations in Rio.

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Kokkinakis hoped to practise after arriving in Brazil overnight however his racquet bag went missing somewhere between Melbourne, Dubai and Rio.

“They told me it should arrive late tomorrow afternoon so it’s a bit disappointing,” the 20-year-old said.

“I’ll see what I can scrounge up to hit with and make do … it will be like the junior days.”

Kokkinakis hadn’t played a tournament match for 10 months after undergoing shoulder surgery and said he was touch and go for the Olympics, only deciding five days ago his body was up for it.

His slow recovery had already forced him to miss the first three grand slams of the year, with his serve the biggest issue.

“It wasn’t looking good for the rest of the year with my shoulder but then out of nowhere it started to feel a lot better,” he said.

“I can’t do any more harm so I’m looking forward to getting out and playing.”

While Australia’s top two men Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic withdrew from Olympic selection, Kokkinakis described the Games as his “one big goal of the year”.

“It’s their call,” he said of the divisive duo.

“They made their own decisions and they were both eligible to play.

“They can do what they want, it’s their career. But I’m stoked to be a part of it.”

Kokkinakis will play in the men’s singles as will John Millman while Chris Guccione and John Peers will be Australia’s doubles pairing.

Sam Stosur and Daria Gavrilova are the women’s singles representatives with the Rodionova sisters Anastasia and Arina in the doubles.

Kokkinakis said he didn’t know what to make of his medal chances but admitted his time out would likely count against him.

“I’ll try to be competitive. It’s 10 months out without a tournament and I’ve never been out that long so I don’t know what to expect,” he said.

“I’m hitting the ball well in practice but when matches start everything’s a lot different.”


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