Tennis star Thanasi Kokkinakis expresses joy of becoming an uncle

thanasi kokkinakis Aphrodite Delilah de Souza

Greek-Australian tennis star Thanasi Kokkinakis has expressed his joy of becoming an uncle after his sister gave birth.

Kokkinakis became an uncle to Aphrodite Delilah de Souza after his sister Christina gave birth last week, and the tennis player was more than happy to share photos on his Instagram account on Friday night.

He also commented three love heart emojis on his sister’s baby reveal post.

Christina Kokkinakis gave birth to Aphrodite on February 16. Credit: Instagram

Earlier this month, Kokkinakis and his Australian Davis Cup teammates were finally paid for reaching the final of the competition - more than two months late.

Between them, Alex de Minaur, Kokkinakis, Jason Kubler, Jordan Thompson and reigning Wimbledon doubles champions Max Purcell and Matt Ebden were owed some $US1.885 million ($A2.718m).

Australia made the final of the prestigious teams’ event for the first time in 19 years, losing to Canada in the title decider in Malaga on November 27.

But the players were growing increasingly agitated at not being paid until Friday, February 10, almost two and a half months after the final.

While the players were reluctant to speak out publicly, behind the scenes they were known to be frustrated and beginning to lose patience after being repeatedly promised payment but not receiving it.

It’s understood the ITF was ultimately responsible for the prize money.

But the ITF’s decision last month to end its lucrative partnership with former Barcelona soccer player Gerard Pique’s Kosmos group five years into a 25-year, $US3 billion ($A4.33 billion) agreement may have complicated matters.

That deal was unveiled in 2018 amid much fanfare over promises to deliver “long-term benefits” for fans and all stakeholders of the game.

The Grand Slam board released a statement on January 27 saying all four majors would make it a priority to safeguard the Davis Cup and that it had financial contingencies in place and would operate the competition’s qualifiers and finals as scheduled.

The quarter-finals through to the finals will again take place in Malaga, Spain, in November.

“Protecting the heritage of the sport and safeguarding major teams competitions such as the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup is a priority for the global tennis community and will appropriately get the Grand Slams’ full attention,” the Grand Slam board said.

“We believe there is an opportunity to engage in further discussions with the ITF and ATP regarding the future of the Davis Cup competition with the ambition of seeing it restored to a premier event with an optimal format and place in the calendar that benefits players, fans and the sport overall.”

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