Thanasi Kokkinakis was the best thing for Australian Tennis since vegemite toast alongside Nick Kyrgios back in 2015. Sporting a heavy forehand and devastating serve, he had broken into the top 100 that year and appeared to be gaining some traction at the bigger events on tour, reaching career-high ranking of world number 69 in June.
Sadly, due to shoulder and pectoral muscle injuries, Thanasi missed competing and struggled with injuries until 2021 when he bounced between early-round exits on tour and later-round showings at challengers, finishing ranked 171.
Then came the 2022 season where he started off by winning the inaugural edition of his hometown ATP tournament in Adelaide and followed it up with an Australian Open doubles title partnered with Nick Kyrgios. He remained on the tour for most of the year, often failing in the earlier rounds of big tournaments against tough players.
Through all of his injury challenges and time off from the tour Thanasi has experimented with his racquets multiple times.
Let’s dive into what the (still) young Aussie likes to bash the ball with.
- Endorsed Racquet: Yonex Ezone 98 2022 (check price here)
- Actual Racquet: Yonex Ezone 98 2020
- Strings: Luxilon ALU Power at 58 pounds
Thanasi Kokkinakis’ Racquet
Thanasi has tried many racquets during his time on tour. He was first sponsored by Babolat and used the AeroPro Drive GT as a junior and later on during his professional career.
He also employed the Pure Strike for a time and used it in his win over Roger Federer. All of his Babolat racquets were “+” length and extended half an inch on the handle.
- Thanasi with the AeroPro Drive GT + evidenced by the “+” script where the racquet name decal is and the shape of the “Cortex” system at the top of the racquet handle, unique to the 2013 iteration of the APD. Note the lead on the sides.
- Kokkinakis with the first generation Pure Strike in the v2 paint, evidenced by the bumper guard which has the pattern unique to the first iteration of the line.
- Kokkinakis with a Wilson Pro Staff 97 in blacked out paint and Babolat stencil at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
- Sporting a Babolat AeroPro Drive in the 2019 Pure Aero paint during his return in 2021
In 2022, Thanasi showed up to the Australian Summer swing with a blacked out frame and no stencil. The Isometric Head quickly gave his racquet away as a Yonex, and he even had a stencil by the Australian Open signifying an official sponsorship.
The clear throat grommets of this racquet give it away as an Ezone 98 with eight mains running through the bridge of the racquet. It looks to be the 2020 version judging by the throat geometry and evenness of the string spacing – the 2018 shared the same throat geometry but had much less uniformity in the string pattern with a denser center and wider spacing toward the edges.
It’s unknown whether his racquets are extended, but because every Babolat he used before had been, it’s a safe guess that this one is too.
After sporting an Ezone paintjob for most of the year, Kokkinakis whipped out another blacked out frame at the ATP World Tour Finals for his second and third doubles matches. He continued to use this frame in the Davis Cup finals the next week.Embed from Getty Images
This racquet is quite obviously his trusty AeroPro Drive. It’s the 2013 version judging by the woofer grommets visible in the bridge and the Cortex geometry at the top of the throat. It seems Thanasi is trying to get back to something comfortable after failing to back up his great start to his season.
For a player that has been well known for so long, all we have been able to find out about his racquet specs is that his strung weight is somewhere around 335-340g. Some of his pro stock Pure Strikes ended up on an online auction site where the seller measured them at 312g unstrung and without overgrip.
That amounts to approximately 335g strung with an overgrip and rubber band dampener. Another member of a popular online forum obtained one of Thanasi’s mangled racquets and stated the strung mass to be 338g.
The pure strike could have been a stock racquet just with leather grip added, or potentially with some lead under the hoop. We really won’t know until somebody gets their hands on one of his frames.
Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if his swingweight is between 330 and 340 (it’s extended, remember), as he has quite a whippy swingpath for somebody with such long arms. That is just a guess, though.
Thanasi uses Luxilon ALU Power at 58 pounds as reported at the 2022 Atlanta Open. This string combined with the high tension provides some extra control and deadens the powerful racquets he uses.
Because he is a professional player and restrings his frames each use, he does not suffer from the ill-effects of high-tension polyester string like the quick tension and elasticity loss and jarring shock to the arm like a recreational player would.
It seems like Thanasi is attempting to find the magic he had near the beginning of his career again, testing his trusty Babolat racquet.
Let’s hope he can build on his successful 2022 doubles campaign and competitive showings in singles events next year!
If you’re interested in other ATP players’ racquets, I listed all the top 100 players’ racquets in this post.