Q. Today it looked like his serve was a big difference. Must be hard to deal with when you're out there.
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Yeah, it was. But I expect that from Nick. He's got a really good serve. He's been serving really well all tournament. I don't think anyone got more than four from him in a set. His serve and return I think are his two biggest strengths. So I really expect that from Nick.
There was one point which I thought I hit a good return, good, deep return into the corner. He got it back pretty deep. I know he played the point out and he got the better of me.
But I think the other two were unreturnables. Yeah there was that one half chance I had. You have to expect that from Nick. He's got a pretty good serve.
Q. Do you feel like need he stepped it up a little bit more when you got the tiebreak?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: I think he started off pretty well. That forehand I missed by, I think a millimeter at the start the tiebreak didn't help me that much.
But, yeah, he's a good player. He dictated the points when he needed to. Full credit to him.
Q. You have a bit of a back injury. Did that come into play at all?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Yeah, I definitely felt it. It wasn't today, though. Like I felt it in my quarterfinal against an Italian kid. Early in the second set I started feeling sore, and then I took some painkillers just before the third set in my quarterfinal match and it felt all right.
I took some painkillers yesterday before my semifinal and it was pretty sore then. Yeah, I went and got some scans to make sure it wasn't something serious last night. Yeah, didn't have great news with it.
But it hurt, yeah, so there were positive scans for stress fractures. I had that two years ago and I was out for a while, but it didn't feel as bad as two years ago.
But, yeah, I don't know. It hurt when I had to really push off and change direction. When I had to bend my back and push off, that's when I struggled. But he put me in those positions and was too good.
Q. Does that mean you'll are sidelined for a while after that?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: I think a little bit. I'm not sure how long. But, yeah, I think I'll take a bit of a break off. Last time with this injury, it was 2011, I had maybe six, seven months off. I'm hoping it's not that again, but we'll see how it goes.
Obviously I'll go do some rehab, be diligent with it, and see how it goes.
Q. Given that you got your news last night, how did that affect you mentally before the game?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Yeah, I was pretty shattered, to be honest. Last night I was pretty pissed. I woke up this morning and I was still a little bit annoyed, but I thought I'd give it a crack.
I actually did a little bit better than I thought I would. I didn't think I'd make it through like a set.
It held up and didn't really get that much worse during the play. But, yeah, it just hurt when I tried to push off.
Q. What about the last few weeks overall? Everything you've been able to experience in the last few weeks, is that going to help you going forward?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Yeah, I definitely think so. That's why it was a bit of a shame especially hearing the news last night, because it's been like the best month I've had in my career as a stretch.
Yeah, I had a great week at Hopman Cup hitting with all the guys and then obviously playing against Verdasco and playing doubles with Venus.
Yeah, I had a good match in the Australian Open men's qualifying which went 17 15 in the third set, the longest tennis match I think I've ever played.
But, yeah, to make it through the final of junior Australian Open, which is my first ever win in a junior Grand Slam, like a round, let alone a final, so that was a good feeling for me.
But, yeah, it was a bit of a shame to get that news last night.
Q. What exactly is the injury? What have they said is the exact problem?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: The last one was on my right side, on my L4, 5, on my right side of my back. This one I started feeling on my left side in the same side. Stress fracture in my L4, L5. I had an MRI scan last night.
I was pretty shattered. I know I can recover. I'm young. I have plenty of time. I can recover and come back and do well later on in the year.
Q. Obviously the doctor gave you the all clear to play today. Was there ever a possibility that you weren't able to, that you may have had to pull out?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Yeah, coming into the match I thought I was going to pull out. I don't know if that's the right mindset going into a final.
But, yeah, the doctor said it can't really get that much worse. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. But I guess I tried to play through it.
Yeah, to be able to play like Nick, it's hard enough being 100% healthy, so with a little bit of a thing, it doesn't help.
Yeah, as I said, it hurt on the low push offs. The doctor said it couldn't get that much worse. So, yeah, I went with it, gave it a crack, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
Q. What has to happen from now? Obviously you'll recover. Are you going to be able to hit at all over the next few weeks?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: I don't think I will. I'm not sure. I've got to talk to the doctors again. But last year I had maybe two to three to four months without hitting at all. It doesn't feel as bad as last time, so I'm hoping I don't get that again.
But, yeah, I won't be hitting anytime soon, I don't think.
Q. There's a lot of talk about you guys representing a pretty bright future for Australian tennis.
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: I think we've got a good future coming up. Myself and Nick obviously did well this tournament. Nick has been doing well. Had good junior results.
And Ash Barty making the finals of a doubles is a pretty good effort for a 16 year old. Luke Saville did well; played his first main draw this year.
Yeah, I feel the older guys as well. Millman started playing in better form. Lleyton is starting to play better as well.
So I think we've got a good future coming up. And Bernie is obviously playing well again. So, yeah, it's good to see.
Q. Is it nice to have someone pretty much your own age like Nick to sort of drive you?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: Yeah, we push each other. We travel a lot together. We're pretty good mates. It always helps training with each other and playing. Yeah, it's a good feeling.