Melbourne, Australia, 25 November 2020 | Leigh Rogers

Thanasi Kokkinakis has spent this year rebuilding his fitness and form following a severe bout of glandular fever.

The 24-year-old has been training in Melbourne for the past few months and hitting regularly with two-time Australian Davis Cup champion Mark Philippoussis.

“Mark’s been great for me. He is a super nice guy,” Kokkinakis said.

“I couldn’t get my coaches over from Adelaide just yet. Obviously with the year kind of in limbo, I didn’t want to get them over when I wasn’t sure what I was doing tournament wise.

“But Mark is in Melbourne and ever since I was younger, he has always been willing to help and never asks for anything in return. He’s just a super good guy and I really appreciate him.”

Kokkinakis described Philippoussis, who is a former world No.8 and two-time Grand Slam finalist, as a great support.

“It is not even about the tennis, it’s just good to have a relationship with him,” Kokkinakis said.

“Mark always has my best interests in mind. Anything I can get from him tennis wise is a bonus, he obviously has a lot of experience.

“He’s been through a lot of injuries himself and I think we have similar personalities, so he gets me and knows what makes me tick. He is just a really good guy to have around.”

Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt has also been helping Kokkinakis in his comeback.

“I’ve hit with Lleyton a little bit as well,” Kokkinakis said. “He’s always been good to practise with.”

The former world No.69-ranked Kokkinakis has shown promising form at the UTR Pro Tennis Series in Melbourne, claiming back-to-back titles in the past fortnight without dropping a set.

For Kokkinakis, who is currently ranked No.257, the way he physically handled the eight matches was the most pleasing result.

“I’m not too worried about my confidence, I just want my body to feel fine because I know the rest will follow,” he said.

“I think I’ve proven every year that I have played, I’ve done well. I just haven’t played enough to give myself a chance to move up in the rankings.

“That’s the biggest thing for me, just to keep playing matches and stay healthy.”