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Kokkinakis receives Australian Open wildcard

November 19, 2017

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Injury-plagued Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis will play at January’s Australian Open tennis tournament for the first time in three years after being awarded a wild card.

The 21-year-old, ranked 210, has battled shoulder and abdominal injuries in recent years and was delighted when Australia Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt told him Sunday he has a guaranteed start in his home grand slam.

Kokkinakis said “it’s been tough missing the last two Australian Opens especially because it’s my favorite tournament and I was 17 when I played my first one. It’s been a pretty tough couple of years with my body but I’ve been working hard to get it right.”

Kokkinakis reached the tournament’s second round in 2014 and 2015. Tim Smyczek received the reciprocal United States wildcard this week after a series of play-off events.

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