Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis reach men’s doubles quarter-finals
Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares’ Australian Open hopes ended in the third round of the men’s doubles but Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis continued their crowd-pleasing run.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis caused one of the upsets of the tournament in the previous round by taking out top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, with Kyrgios then accusing the coach and trainer of the Croatians of threatening him.
Explaining the incident, Kokkinakis said: “It was pretty funny, I’m not going to lie. Me and Nick, trying to be professionals, so we went in the gym after our doubles match, maybe one of the first times ever.
“It was Pavic’s fitness trainer and he came up and he smashed a foam roller against a pole as hard as he can and I thought he was kind of joking, I wasn’t sure if he was about to berate his players.
“And he came up to Nick and said we’re being disrespectful. Nick hit the opponent with a ball, but that’s normal, these doubles players have got unbelievable hands so you have to go at them.
“And they said we were showboating, but I’m sure if we played away in Croatia it would have been the same thing. So it was just our energy and I think at the end of the day they were a bit salty they lost. I thought they would handle losing a little better than that.”
😂😂 that was crazy!! Mans thought it was @ufc https://t.co/TCYCRCj3E5
— Thanasi Kokkinakis (@TKokkinakis) January 21, 2022
Kyrgios added with a grin: “Enjoy your flight home.”
There was another packed crowd and lively atmosphere on Kia Arena as Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, who were Wimbledon junior doubles champions in 2013, took on Ariel Behar of Uruguay and Ecuador’s Gonzalo Escobar.
And the Australians came through 6-4 4-6 6-4 to reach a grand slam doubles quarter-final for the first time.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis are clearly having fun on the court, but they are serious about wanting to go all the way in the event.
The Special K's show rolls on 👊
Aussie pair @NickKyrgios and @TKokkinakis defeat Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar 6-4 4-6 6-4 to advance to the #AO2022 men's doubles quarterfinals.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/VaRCEGTXgf
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 23, 2022
“I definitely think we’ve got a good shot at winning this,” said Kyrgios. “We are bringing the game to new levels. Not just on the doubles court. I saw the TV ratings up like 45 per cent.”
There was disappointment, though, for eighth seeds Murray and Soares, who could not capitalise on a good start and fell 3-6 6-7 (7) 6-3 to Italian duo Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.
The British-Brazilian pair, who led 5-1 in the opening set, had a match point in the second-set tie-break.
Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski, playing with Rajeev Ram and Wesley Koolhof respectively, will both try to reach the last eight on Monday.