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Kokkinakis opts against wildcard play-off event on way to Open

Thanasi Kokkinakis will need either a wildcard from Tennis Australia or have to earn his spot through qualifying in order to play at January’s Australian Open.

The 23-year-old from South Australia, who has had another injury-riddled year, won’t feature at next week’s wildcard play-off event at Melbourne Park.

Kokkinakis, the world No.200, was last year controversially overlooked for one of the discretionary wildcards but gained his way into the Australian Open draw with three wins in qualifying.

Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Thanasi Kokkinakis.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Lower-ranked compatriots Alex Bolt, Marc Polmans and Alexei Popyrin were all granted walk-up starts, prompting intense speculation about the selection process. However, the choices were largely vindicated. Bolt had a strong campaign at Melbourne Park, reaching the third round before losing to German Alexander Zverev, while 20-year-old Popyrin had a breakout 2019 to surge into the top 100.

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