SEN tennis expert Brett Phillips says Thanasi Kokkinakis and Lleyton Hewitt have had a major falling out which dates back to Australia’s Davis Cup campaign in 2017.
Kokkinakis was surprisingly overlooked for Australia’s Semi-Final clash against Belgium with Davis Cup coach Hewitt opting for John Millman in the opening singles rubber against David Goffin.
Phillips says the pair remain at loggerheads following Hewitt’s controversial decision after recent meetings were held to try and resolve the feud.
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"It’s a bit of a delicate subject, the whole Thanasi Kokkinakis situation, because basically he’s had a falling out with Lleyton Hewitt," Phillips told SEN Afternoons.
"If you fall out with Lleyton Hewitt, you’re on the back foot.
"I know there’s been some meetings in Sydney about it this week to try and rectify the situation – they're at loggerheads at the moment.
"It goes back to the Davis Cup, we’re going back not last year but the year before when he was part of the team that lost that Semi-Final and you might remember that John Millman got the nod late.
"Millman’s practice form had been a lot better, he got the nod ahead of Kokkinakis, despite Kokkinakis having a better ranking, and he basically sulked from there.
"He wouldn’t actually come out and support the team, he was invited last year to be part of the squad as well and refused to travel with the Davis Cup squad…it’s a bit of a mess."
Kokkinakis will compete in Australian Open qualifiers this week to see whether he will compete in the season opening Grand Slam.