Tennis Prose



Why did Hewitt bypass Kokkinakis for Thompson?

By Scoop Malinowski

Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt selected Alex Deminaur, Nick Kyrgios John Peers and Jordan Thompson to represent Australia in their coming tie vs Germany this weekend.

It’s not an entirely understandable decision by captain Hewitt as Thompson has an 0-3 match record on the year and is struggling with confidence issues.

Thompson lost in straight sets to ATP 54 Jared Donaldson 26 46 in Brisbane. Then in Sydney he lost first round again to ATP 45 and 36 year old journeyman Paolo Lorenzi 67 46.

In Melbourne, Thompson lost again, this time a brutal five set heartbreaker to ATP 93 Nicholas Kicker.

Thompson has not won an ATP main draw match since the first round win against Jack Sock at the US Open. In the Davis Cup tie vs Belgium, Thompson lost in straight sets to Steve Darcis.

So 23 year old Thompson, now ranked 102, is obviously struggling mightily with his game and confidence issues at the moment.

Thanasi Kokkinakis, age 21 and ranked 217, has only played one official match this year – a four set loss to Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open.

Before that Kokkinakis lost a five setter at US Open to Tipsarevic but did not play any official ATP matches between late August and early January. His overall match record in 2017 was 6-7.

Kokkinakis did play at Hopman Cup this month and went 2-1 in singles play, losing to David Goffin in straight sets and and defeating Vasek Pospisil 64 36 63 and Alexander Zverev 57 76 64, the same Zverev who he could have met again in the Australia vs Germany tie this weekend, had Hewitt selected him.

On form it looks like Hewitt either possibly snubbed Kokkinakis or he has a preferential favoritism and faith in Thompson, despite the horrific slump he is currently stagnated in.

To Thompson’s credit, he has scored some mighty victories for Australia in Davis Cup, including the superb triumph over Sock last year, one of two wins over the top ten American.

But the pressure will be on Thompson to perform again, if Hewitt taps his shoulder instead of the teenage phenom Deminaur who has been sensational this year with his astounding final run in Sydney.

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  • Hartt · January 30, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    With Kokki, you always have to consider an injury. The youngster seems to have more than his fair share of them.

  • GameSetAndMath · January 30, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    May be he is planning to use him for doubles only.

  • herios · January 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Actually it is very understandable. Thompson will be used to play only the doubles match like GSM said, because he is used to play with Peers before.
    On another hand Kokkinakis is enjured yet ygain, with a torned pectoral muscle.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 30, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Wow that is really bad news for kinky. I’ve heard torn pec muscles are like tearing your rotor cuff. I think only Steve Darcis has recovered from rotator cuff surgery to make it back on tour. Kinky has looked good in exbo’s, but he’s been a major disappointment in match play largely because of his confounding injuries. Funny everyone gets on Kyrgios for his bad posture and not looking real fit, but he hasn’t suffered any major injuries like Kokky.

  • brian baxter · January 31, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I think its injury. I thought Thanasi would retire during that match. It looked like it several times before the 3rd set.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Brian, Kokkinakis did finish and could have been faking or stalling. If he was hurt why try to still win in five like he did? Not sure if I'm fully buying this injury.



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