“Although it was a heartbreaking match to be honest and I had it in the bag a few times, as distraught as I was after the match, I actually really enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun out there,” Kokkinakis said.
“One of the only times I can say after a big loss, especially one where I was on the front foot the whole time, that I enjoyed it.
“Tennis is so results based that if you don’t win you’re just p***** and obviously I was p***** off, but I can look back at the summer I had and the level of tennis when I was playing at my best and try to take the positives away from that.
“I’ve gone through worse stuff than losing a tennis match from being in a winning position. In the scheme of things it hurts for a little bit, but I had a lot of good feedback, a lot of people came up to me.
“Some idiots came up to me saying ‘what happened?’. Not what I really wanted to talk about after, but for the most time it was encouraging signs.”
The world No. 94 will play his first match at Indian Wells on Saturday evening against top seed Carlos Alcaraz in their first competitive meeting.
Kokkinakis is full of praise for the world No. 2 and believes the Spaniard is capable of the same achievements as The Big Three – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic – in his career.
“It’s not just that he’s got no weaknesses, but he just plays with great energy,” he said.
“He plays tennis the right way. He’s always up and about, he’s always smiling.
“I think the crowd loves watching him because his energy is almost contagious. He’s one of my favourite players to watch. Whenever he’s playing, I try to tune in if I’ve got time.
“I just like the way he plays. He’s got good firepower, he’s lightning quick, he’s got good hands.
“I saw it a few years ago just watching some highlights of him. It’s so hard to eclipse what those legends have done in our sports with how many Slams they’ve won, but he’s definitely capable and I think he’s got a shot if he stays healthy for sure.”
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