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January 7, 2017
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
An interview with:
-and- JORDAN THOMPSON
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Guys, how does that feel? Unexpected, I think this, whole week? You have had great wins to make the final.
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Yeah, it's pretty crazy, really. Obviously Jordan had his best year on tour last year, and I was absent through injury.
And, yeah, for a last-minute kind of decision to play together and make it through to the final, and probably had the toughest draw, I feel like, as well, of anyone in the draw, so for us to come through like that is huge and a big confidence boost, yeah.
Q. What does it do for your thinking for the next few weeks in the Australian Open and I guess your confidence?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Well, I think we're gonna play together a bit more now. It was originally going to be, like -- I don't know about a one-off, but we were just going to see how we go and if we combine well.
Yeah, obviously we're going to try and look to play the next couple of weeks, but just from a body perspective, not too bad, not too bad. Can't really be perfect on your first week back, but it's encouraging to know that the shoulder's held up well. Obviously doubles is a bit easier with one in every four serves, and with everything else, I'm only covering half the court. So that helps. And Jordan is pretty quick, so I'm probably covering about a third.
Q. When did you find out you have drawn each other in Round 1?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Literally five minutes before we went on. (Smiling.)
Q. Before you went on?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Yeah. We looked at each other and laughed. But, yeah, that's the tour. When you're there or thereabouts in the rankings -- obviously I'm unranked now, but when you play the same tournaments, there is always that possibility. Yeah, it's obviously pretty crazy, doubles partners and wildcards, to draw each other.
Q. How did it actually happen? Did you guys just text each other when you decided to play with each other before the tournament?
JORDAN THOMPSON: This week? A couple of injuries happened, and then they paired us up together. That's how that happened.
Q. Jordan, carrying on from your success in the singles, the week just keeps getting better for you, doesn't it?
JORDAN THOMPSON: Yeah, definitely. We haven't played too much together, and that was pretty impressive coming out on Pat Rafter Arena for a semifinal here in Brisbane.
We played well. I think it was our best match. Yeah, it's all positive.
Q. And you mentioned, you know, you were joking, but you're only covering a portion of the court, but what can this do for your singles game? Just court time, I guess?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Yeah, exactly. Court time, competitive matches, playing something and playing for something that means something is good. It's a feeling I haven't had in a long time.
Just to get out there with the nerves and the crowd, little bit of pressure, obviously doubles is half the pressure, but yeah, it's just a good feeling to be back out on court.
This is, I think, the best 250 in the world that I have played, for sure. I think it could be a 500, as well, to be honest.
Yeah, such a nice centre court. And obviously being home, the crowd gets behind you, just cheers you up a little bit more.
Q. You both appear to be having a lot of fun playing together. Is it because you're mates or because, Thanasi, you're back, or are you always this happy?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Probably a bit of both, to be honest.
JORDAN THOMPSON: Yeah, we have known each other for a long time. It's good to be playing in Australia. We're both Australian. Why not have fun?
Q. And then the expectations for Sydney?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Come out injury-free. That's my expectation for the year and the next year and the year after that, because I have missed way too much time. There's nothing worse, nothing worse.
When you're an athlete, you grow up and that's all you do, pretty much, or the main aspect of your life, and for that to be taken away and your best friend being a TheraBand, it's not good.
Q. How did you keep yourself positive in that timeout, being away for so long?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: I didn't. I was trying to. The worst part about it was the dates I had kind of set, and I was listening to the professionals and they set for me. And just for them to keep getting pushed back and back and back.
I felt like I was under a constant yellow light this year. I felt, like, from the ground and everything, I could be ready come French Open. I felt like I was at my fittest around French Open and Wimbledon time, but the shoulder was just nowhere near ready.
Then once one thing got better, something else went, and vice versa. I'm still not where I want to be physically. I think I'm still a fair way away. Had a spotty preseason. But it was tough for me to completely miss two of the Aussie summers, because I know how much the Australian public get around it. Obviously, I don't want to be silly with my injuries, but yeah, just such a good time to be a tennis player in Australia.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports