Fairfax has another story on the Kokk-Hewitt pairing which puts a positive spin on it to my mind, from Thanasi's point of view, a chance for a short training block on grass in London before he launches his campaign.
Has some nice stuff on the spur the players are providing to each other - I was a tad alarmed by the story's reference to the pressure the Kokk is evidently feeling to get at least a QF at Wimbledon though, on the basis that both Tomic and Kyrgios had done it as a teen. Trying to emulate or better the competition is obviously a healthy thing, but taken too far it can be counter-productive.
You can find the whole article here:http://www.canberratimes.com.au/spor...31-ghdifl.html
A few extracts.
On the spur to perform:
Thanasi Kokkinakis has revealed Nick Kyrgios's rollicking 2014 Wimbledon win over Rafael Nadal was the spur for his own meteoric rise to grand slam prominence.
Heartened by his third-round run at the French Open and a glowing endorsement from his conqueror, Novak Djokovic, Kokkinakis can't wait to hit London's lawns to prepare for his own long-awaited assault at the All England Club.
When Kyrgios, then ranked 144th in the world, stunned top seed Nadal to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year, Kokkinakis had just lost to Farrukh Dustov in the first round of a second-tier Challenger event in Winnetka, a small town just north of Chicago.
"It was definitely tough last year watching Nick break through. I'm not going to lie," Kokkinakis said after bowing out at Roland Garros with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Djokovic, the top-ranked title favourite.
"I was like, 'wow, what am I doing?'
"I had a look at it and I worked hard to put myself in these positions to play the greatest players on big courts."...
On the challenge of the Tomic/Kyrgios precedents:
The 19-year-old admits Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic both reaching the last eight at Wimbledon as teenagers "definitely" serves as motivation.
"But at the same time I want to do it my own way and not try and rival what they are doing," he said.
"I want to kind of do better than them. I don't think I need to change too much what I'm doing. I think I'm on a good path."...
On training with Hewitt:
"It's going to be good. Obviously he's won Wimbledon before and his game suits grass well," Kokkinakis said.
"I'm going to look to get to London and train with him. Might take one or two days off and then get straight into it on the grass.
"I have a lot to learn on grass but it's going to be good training with him.
Kokkinakis plans to play Queen's, possibly Nottingham and maybe also a Challenger event during the extended three-week grasscourt build-up to Wimbledon.
"Because I didn't really play grass last year," he said.
"I played a lot when I was real young, but the last few years I haven't played much on it.
"It's definitely different to out here [on clay], but I think if I can train right my game should suit it."
I hope he does play the Challenger (though would have preferred the 250s if he could have obtained a wc) but playing Nottingham the week before Wimbledon seems a dodgy proposition to me unless he still desperately needs some match practice at that point.