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Get To Know: Thanasi Kokkinakis

Melbourne, Australia

Kokkinakis Melbourne 2014© AFP/Getty ImagesThanasi Kokkinakis notched his first win at a Grand Slam during his debut at the 2014 Australian Open.

Thanasi Kokkinakis, ranked World No. 570, defeated Igor Sijsling 7-6(4), 0-6, 7-6(3), 6-2 on his Grand Slam debut at the 2014 Australian Open. The 17-year-old Australian earned a second-round clash with World No. 1 and 2009 Melbourne champion Rafael Nadal.

In 2013, Kokkinakis reached the final of the boys’ singles at both the Australian Open and the US Open. got to know the Australian a little better after his first-round win.

How did you get started in tennis?
Through my brother. He started playing basketball and then I followed him with that. Then he had some tennis lessons and I had a couple of hits. And I was a bit better than I thought, so I ran with it from there.

Who were your favourite tennis players growing up?
Marat Safin. He was just entertaining, the way he hit the ball. He was so powerful. I just loved watching him play.

What are your ambitions in tennis?
To be No. 1 in the world. Win Grand Slams. Obviously win Davis Cup.

Watch Kokkinakis 2014 Australian Open Second Round Interview

What are your hobbies off the court?
I like watching NBA games. I like sleeping even I though don't get enough of it. Playing basketball. Catching up with my mates.

Do you have a favourite NBA Team?
L.A. Clippers.

Favourite Playstation game?
NBA 2K14.

How much time do you spend on the Playstation?
Not as much as I would like to. When I was injured I spent too much time on there.

What are your strengths as a tennis player?
I'd like to think my serve, my forehand and my fighting abilities.

In your first Grand Slam, what's it like being in the locker room around all these players?
It's great. Luckily I also had experience in Brisbane being around quality players in the locker room. To win my first ever Grand Slam match before I turn 18 - I'm pretty happy with that. It's just a good experience to be with the guys and hit with the guys. It all helps for the future.

How is it being around the Australian Davis Cup team with Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter?
I haven't spent as much time with them yet. I will be going to France a little bit later. They're really nice guys and are very encouraging.

Favourite Film: Superbad

Favourite Ice Cream Flavour: Cookies & Cream

Celebrity Crush: Elizabeth Hurley or Ciara.

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