Novak Djokovic’s kind act before leaving Australia: The touching DM tennis superstar sent an Aussie up-and-comer before Immigration Minister kicked him out of the country
- Thanasi Kokkinakis won the Adelaide International 2 on Saturday night
- The 25-year-old Aussie was congratulated by Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer
- Kokkinakis has struggled with illness and injury in his professional tennis career
Novak Djokovic and fellow 20-time grand slam winner Roger Federer have sent congratulations to Thanasi Kokkinakis, but the rejuvenated Australian would have missed their messages if it wasn’t for a case of boredom.
Kokkinakis broke through for his maiden ATP title on Saturday night when he beat Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech in the Adelaide International 2 final.
It marked a deserved happy chapter in Kokkinakis’ career following years of injury torment and illness.
The 25-year-old has been feeling the love from tennis players and fans from around the world since.
Djokovic, who sent Kokkinakis his message just hours before losing his Federal Court appeal against the decision to cancel his visa, and Federer reached out to Kokkinakis via social media.
Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis (pictured) won his first top tier tennis tournament in Adelaide
But the world No.145 revealed on Sunday that it was only a slice of fortune that he saw the messages.
‘They go in the ‘other’ folder, not the primary one, (so it) doesn’t come up straight away,’ Kokkinakis said.
‘So I was just having a scroll because I’m bored, and they came up. It was a bit of a shock.
‘It’s awesome having that support – two guys that have done so much – to reach out to me. They know it means a lot to me.
‘They’ve won about a million of them (titles), so it’s probably pretty minor to them. But to me it’s massive, so it was pretty sick to have them reach out.’
The message Djokovic sent to Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis (pictured)
Novak Djokovic (with wife Jelena) won’t be competing at the Australian Open after his visa was cancelled
Kokkinakis was just 16 and a fill-in player at Perth’s Hopman Cup when he first met Djokovic.
An injury to Team USA saw Kokkinakis join forces with Venus Williams to take on Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic in a mixed doubles match.
Kokkinakis was appreciative that the world No.1 took the time while dealing with his court dramas.
‘He’s obviously got a bit on his plate but for him to reach out means a lot,’ Kokkinakis said.
‘In person he’s been nothing but nice to me, always asking how I’m doing. He said last year even when I came back (from injury), ‘great to see you back’.’
The 25-year-old was congratulated by Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer (pictured with his Adelaide trophy)
Kokkinakis (pictured) won the Adelaide tournament on Saturday night
Kokkinakis’ confidence is sky high, and his Australian Open campaign begins on Monday night against world No.126 Yannick Hanfmann, a qualifier.
If Kokkinakis wins that, he is likely to face the other 20-time grand slam winner, Rafael Nadal, in a round-two blockbuster.
‘I’ve seen that. You can’t really miss it. If you’re on social media, that’s all they talk about,’ Kokkinakis said.
‘I’d love to get that opportunity, but I’m not looking ahead at all though.
‘I’ve got a tough player who has won three quality matches in qualifying. He’s playing some good tennis.’