Home hopes Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis reach Australian Open semi-finals

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Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis set Melbourne Park alight again as they moved to within two victories of Australian Open glory.

Men’s doubles is not usually the biggest draw at any grand slam but huge crowds have roared on the two Australian stars during their run and it was the same story for their quarter-final against Tim Puetz and Michael Venus on the Kia Arena.

German Puetz and New Zealander Venus are two of the world’s leading doubles exponents and the sixth seeds for the tournament but they became the latest victims of the wild card pair, with Kyrgios and Kokkinakis winning 7-5 3-6 6-3.

Opponents are certainly not enjoying the rowdy atmospheres anywhere near as much as Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, and Puetz and Venus were no different.

Kyrgios gave a racket to a young boy in the crowd that he accidentally hit early on when he swiped away a ball but tears soon turned to cheers as the Australian pair moved ahead and then came through the deciding set.

“Unreal scenes,” said Kyrgios. “I’m not finished. I want to win this f****** thing.

“It’s been incredible. Another tough, tough win. They brought some serious tennis. As long as I’m playing this sport and playing in Australia, you sure will have a show.”

Nick Kyrgios throws his racket in frustration
Nick Kyrgios throws his racket in frustration (Tertius Pickard/AP)

Kyrgios, meanwhile, admitted he feared the worst when the ball he unnecessarily swiped into the crowd after a let call struck the boy.

He told Channel 9: “I saw it heading towards the kid and I thought: ‘Oh no, I am getting defaulted’. I was glad he was OK and I gave him the racket.”

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis won the Wimbledon junior title together but this is their best run at a senior slam, and Kokkinakis is hoping for more of the same in their semi-final against third seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.

“When we walk through that tunnel, there’s no feeling like it,” said the 25-year-old.

“We don’t want anything else. This is perfect. The rowdier the better. Everyone seems to have a problem. Keep rustling some feathers guys.”

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