Kokkinakis putting in the hard yards to change fortunes
Thanasi Kokkinakis muses thoughtfully over the catalogue of misery that's being relayed to him about his near-misses in 2023.
Like when he held set point in both stanzas of his Madrid Open clash against Jaume Munar - and got beaten.
And the day he had five match points against Hubert Hurkacz at the Miami Open - and got beaten.
Then, there was that near six-hour epic when he led Andy Murray by two sets - and ... well, we know the rest.
Wasn't that the morning - 4.28am to be exact - when, defeated by a bloke with a metal hip, he was reduced to tweeting forlornly: "This f***ing sport man."?
"Oh great, yeah, thanks for reminding me," Kokkinakis tells AAP with good-natured patience ahead of his Roland Garros opener on Sunday.
"I went through all the emotions then had a night without sleep. So, yeah, a good day for me, loved it!"
But the good news is that Kokkinakis, a try-try-and-try-again soldier of Aussie tennis, has a notion to get Lady Luck onside in what he plans to be the hardest, most extensive and most fruitful season of a career that still promises so much.
Starting at this week's French Open.
"I've tried to make a commitment at least for one year of my career to try to stay over here in Europe as long as possible and play as much as I can," explained Kokkinakis.
"I definitely struggle with the aspect of playing week in week out without getting home (to Adelaide) very much - so that's definitely the toughest part for me.
"But I'm trying to play a lot, to have a couple of good results, try to beat my career-high ranking (of 69) and make the top 50. That's my goal for the end of this year."
So, it's a big campaign for the likeable, one-time boy wonder of Aussie tennis who's been through the injury mill and is now reaching the prime years of his career still with ambition and heart intact.
"I want to try to put myself in position to be sure I'm in every main draw for every slam, and not on the cusp. I want to get to the Olympics as a priority. These are reasons I'm putting in the hard yards."
All those near-misses against Munar, Murray and Hurkacz? "A bit of it's bad luck, and a bit of it's my fault - that's tennis," he shrugs.
But the law of averages is simple, he thinks; the more he plays, the more chances he'll get, and the more things will turn his way.
"I've never before put together a full schedule ever in my career, so I think I've got a good opportunity here," he says, pondering the prospect of playing 22 or more events in 2023 and spending five straight months away from Australia.
"I'm hoping it will pay dividends - I'd be pretty pissed off if it doesn't by the end of the year.
"Touch wood, I'm feeling pretty healthy here, I pulled out of competition this week to give myself the best preparation and it's probably the most clay tournaments I've had before the French in a very long time. I've given myself the best chance.
"My best result at a slam was at the French in 2015 (reaching the third round), so I definitely think I can play on this stuff."
But not another Brit battle, surely? He gives a mock groan.
"It's not going to be easy, gonna be a dogfight for sure," he says about tackling No.20 seed Dan Evans first up.
But a bit of luck would come in handy too.