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“I haven’t tried marihuana; never needed it, so I’m pretty happy” – interview with Thanasi Kokkinakis

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NEW YORK – After the first minute of conversation, Thanasi Kokkinakis is taken aback. “Weird questions, man” he tells CLAY in this quick and entertaining interview where the Australian player responds what he is not used to… or didn’t think he’d be asked.

About cannabis, Saudi Arabian investments in tennis, parties with his friend Nick Kyrgios and his positive head to head against Roger Federer.

A back and forth with the Aussie at the US Open.

NBA now officially allows players to smoke marijuana. Do you think in tennis cannabis should be taken away of the list of ptohibited substances?

– It’s not something I have really thought about, but I definitely smelt it out there while I was playing today. I think in NBA the culture is definitely more sort of that. I don’t really have any thoughts about tennis. I think, unless it enhances performance… if it does that, then maybe it shouldn’t be allowed but if it doesn’t enhance performance… I’ve never tried it myself personally so I don’t know.

– And outside of tennis, you have never tried it?

– No, never. I haven’t needed to. I don’t feel like I need to, so I’m pretty happy.

– Roger Federer retired with a negative head to head against you. How do you feel about it?

– Yeah, good. It’s probably one thing I’ll remember. It’s a good feeling, but the show goes on. He’s definitely had a better career so I don’t think he is thinking about my loss too much.

– How is your friend Nick Kyrgios?

– I think he is alright. He started to hit this week so hopefully he is recovering and he’ll be good to go at the end of this year or next year.

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– Is he excited to come back?

– I think so. He is just excited to be healthy, but I guess maybe you ask him that. I don’t know.

– How’s it like to party with him?

– Weird questions, man.

– I’m trying to take you out of tennis a bit.

– Yeah. It’s fun, you know. He is one of my friends, so we get along well.

– How do you take the idea of having the Arabics investing in tennis?

– I think anything to grow the game, anything to get players paid what I think they’re worth, if Saudis wanna invest in tennis, I think is great for the game. Obviously you play for the love of the sport and there’s a lot of great events and you don’t want to lose the culture of the Grand Slams and some other big tour events around. But if they are willing to come and help fund the players… tennis is a tough sport out there. You wanna get paid. If you are 80 in the world or anything in any other sport you are making very comfortable money, you’re not really worrying about travelling day to day. So I think that’s a big part.

– Do you enjoy events when they are combined with WTA?

– Yeah, I mean I don’t mind. As long there’s enough practice [courts] and all the basic stuff then yeah, I think it’s great having combined events.

– Do you share a lot with them? Do you have friends in the women’s tour?

– Oh yeah, I’m friendly with some female players on tour. I’ve got a girlfriend, so not too friendly. But yeah there’s a lot of nice girls on the tour that I’ve seen. I think it’s good for the fans, having a mixture of men and women at tournaments. As I said, as long as there’s enough practice courts and the facilities are big enough, why not?

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– What do you expect for yourself in the rest of the year and 2024?

– Hopefully break top 50, that’s one of my goals to finish the year. And just stay healthy and keep playing good tennis.

– Can I make a photo of you for this interview?

– I’m fine. You can find in Google.

– Sure.

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