Thompson, Kokkinakis Claim First Doubles Title
Next Gen ATP star Thanasi Kokkinakis made a dream return to the ATP World Tour when he teamed with fellow Australian Jordan Thompson to win the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp title Sunday.
The players, who ironically will play against each other in the first round of next week's Apia International Sydney, both claimed their first tour-level doubles title with a 7-6(7), 6-4 win over first-time team Gilles Muller and Sam Querrey.
Kokkinakis, who did not play a match on the ATP World Tour last year after undergoing December 2015 shoulder surgery, said: “It's pretty crazy. I haven't experienced that for a while. To be honest, I haven't experienced a competitive match for a while. To go on a run like that with a mate and to beat some really quality teams, and to do it in a place like Brisbane, such a good event, as an Australian, as well, the home crowd, yeah, it's pretty surreal.”
Thompson, who also reached the singles quarter-finals (l. Nishikori), said: “Definitely matches help, especially to start of the year. We played, I think, four doubles. I played three singles. I guess it's more important for Thanasi. He hasn't played for a long time. For him to get matches under his belt is huge.”
While Kokkinakis will make his singles return in Sydney, he is yet to decide if he will play singles at the Australian Open. “I definitely want to play doubles if my body is still not up to [singles, at the Australian Open]… I have got a couple little niggles which I'm trying to deal with at the moment, but I think that's just -- you can play as many practice sets and stuff like that as you want, but there's nothing, even in doubles, there is nothing that compares to a real live match with real live pressure, that little bit of tension in the body and stuff like that… It still feels stupid to me to try to play five sets with a real spotty preseason at best.
“I'm just going to take it day by day and try and do all the right things off court, and hopefully the body feels all right. I have missed too much time now to put too much emphasis on one tournament. I need to do what's best for my body and see what happens even after the Aussie summer.”
The Aussies earned their first title the hard way. They survived match tie-breaks in the opening two rounds against Pouille/Wawrinka and top seeds Herbert/Mahut, before dismissing Grand Slam doubles champions Daniel Nestor and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the semi-finals.