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Tennis

Shattered Kokkinakis dwells on defeat

Tennis

A brutally honest Thanasi Kokkinakis says it will take him a while to recover mentally from his limp display against Daniil Medvedev at Queen’s Club.

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Buoyed by his fantastic victory over Milos Raonic two days earlier, the South Australian looked a pale imitation as he crashed out 6-2 6-2 in less than an hour overnight.

Kokkinakis admitted he felt nervous and tight before the match and claimed he would have failed to beat a futures player in what he called the worst performance of his career.

“I don’t think I played this bad before ever,” Kokkinakis said.

“It’s tough obviously with a bit of expectation after getting my best-ever win last match.

“That’s tennis. You can be up one minute and the next minute feel very far down.”

The 21-year-old said his dismal showing had nothing to do with his fitness as he continues on the comeback trail after a injury-plagued 18 months, and made no excuses.

“I’d say it was probably 99 per cent mental,” he said.

“Yeah, I’m sore but that wasn’t the reason today. My body didn’t really hold me back.

“The way I played today, I don’t think I would have beaten a futures player… I just need to get better.

“I was just trying to loosen up my shoulders and play free. I couldn’t do it. Even in the warm-up I felt tight, so I thought, ‘This is not looking good’.

Kokkinakis will play some exhibition matches before Wimbledon starts on July 3 but said it’ll take some time to get over losing so badly to the world No.60 – for the second time in as many weeks.

“My serve and forehand are usually the things I rely on and even those were off with the fairies somewhere. I don’t know what it was,” he said.

“I couldn’t put a ball in the court. It was horrible.

“I’m dwelling on it big time.

“I wish I could put it to one side. As tennis players you have to have short-term memory but for me, this one is probably going to stick around for a while.”

-AAP

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