Thanasi Kokkinakis aims to step up for Australia in Nick Kyrgios absence

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Thanasi Kokkinakis is looking forward to representing Australia this week as he is hoping his ability to play well in singles and doubles can help his country reach the Davis Cup Finals knockout phase. This week in Hamburg, Australia will be taking on France, Germany and Belgium. Kokkinakis is joined by Alex de Minaur, Jason Kubler, Alexei Popyrin and Wimbledon doubles champions Matt Ebden and Max Purcell. Unfortunately for the Australian team, they are without Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios. “It should be fun,” Kokkinakis said, per Tennis Australia. “Any time you’re around the team, and have one common goal, it’s a cool experience.” Kokkinakis: I look at myself as an option Kokkinakis has won his first ATP title in singles this year, while he also became a Grand Slam champion after he and Kyrgios won the Australian Open doubles title. “I look at myself as an option, I can play both (singles and doubles), which is good,” Kokkinakis said. “I think it definitely helps to give us flexibility.” Kokkinakis, who made his Davis Cup debut in 2014, returned to the Australian Davis Cup team this year for the first time since 2015. Earlier this year, Kokkinakis helped Australia beat Hungary and clinch a Davis Cup Finals spot. Kokkinakis has Davis Cup experience under his belt, but he is set to experience the format used in Hamburg for the first time in his career. “I’ve never played it when it’s this sort of format, so I don’t even know exactly how it works,” Kokkinakis admitted. “It’s going to be an interesting experience, still, (I’m) playing for Australia. And whether I play singles, whether I play doubles, whether I’m cheering, or whatever, I’m ready to do what it takes.” The two top ranked countries from the group will progress into the Davis Cup Finals knockout phase.

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