If you think there is hype for young Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, ask John Newcombe about Thanasi Kokkinakis.Australian tennis great Newcombe last month awarded Kyrgios the medal named in his honour as Australia’s most outstanding performer of 2014.
But the seven-times major champion and former world number one believes Kokkinakis is just as special.
While Kyrgios was grabbing global headlines with his giant-killing run to the Wimbledon quarter-finals, his good mate Kokkinakis was quietly making his own move up the rankings.
After starting 2014 as the world number 570, the 18-year-old ended the season ranked 150th.
Standing at a towering 196cm, three centimetres taller than Kyrgios and 12 months younger, Kokkinakis claimed his maiden major win at the Australian Open in January.
Kokkinakis has also won over Australian Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter and now Newcombe is tipping the two-time major junior runner-up to make his mark on the world stage in 2015.
“He’s going to make a move next year,” Newcombe said.
“I think he’s the same as Nick, certainly with a potential to be top 20, top 10, top four or five in the world. See more…