Rising star Thanasi Kokkinakis is confident the drama surrounding Bernard Tomic won’t affect Australia’s chances of securing a Davis Cup semi-final berth.
Australia are 1-0 down in their quarter-final tie against Kazakhstan in Darwin after Kokkinakis lost 6-4 6-3 6-3 to Mikhail Kukushkin in just over two hours.
Nick Kyrgios has the chance to level the tie when he takes on Aleksandr Nedovyesov in Friday’s other singles rubber, with Sam Groth and Lleyton Hewitt to team up for Saturday’s doubles.
Members of Australia’s team woke to news on Friday morning that Tomic had been arrested in America overnight.
Tomic was taken into custody after failing to follow police orders to leave his $A7000-a-night penthouse at the W Hotel following a night of loud partying.
“Obviously that’s the first thing that came up on my facebook when I had a scroll. I saw about eight mug shots of him,” Kokkinakis said after his straight-sets defeat.
“We’re trying to block it out. It didn’t seem too bad.
“We’re just trying to do our own thing. We’ve got the tie, which I tried to focus on.
“Obviously you don’t want to have that sort of issue happen very often. It’s not great for anyone.
“But I still feel confident us boys can get it done.”
Groth was also adamant the team wouldn’t be distracted by the drama.
“There’s a lot of other stuff happening at the moment, but we’re not going to buy into any of that stuff,” Groth said.
“We’ve got a great team comradery. We all know each other so well.”
Kokkinakis made a nervous start to Friday’s match before rallying briefly in the second set.
But with his first serve abandoning him, the 19-year-old struggled to keep pace throughout the contest.
“I wasn’t able to find my game. And when I found it in the second set, I got broken straight back, which killed me,” Kokkinakis said.
“I didn’t find my rhythm today.
“I’m taking it pretty hard at the moment. I’m pretty disappointed.”