MELBOURNE, Australia — For the first time in 42 years, the Australian Open men’s doubles final will be an all-Australian affair with popular duo Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis set to take on Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell in Saturday’s decider.
Both Australian pairs took care of their semifinal assignments in straight sets; Ebden and Purcell accounted for No. 2 seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, 6-3, 7-6(9), while Kyrgios and Kokkinakis got the better of experienced team Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, 7-6(4), 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena.
As to be expected, a match featuring Kyrgios was always going to have its moment of madness. When serving up a break in the second set, the 26-year-old fell behind 15-40 and began blowing up at the chair umpire, arguing the sensor on the net cord was too sensitive after a pair of lets were called. Kyrgios also begged the crowd to stop making noise when he began his service motion.
Granollers and Zeballos broke back on the next point, leading to Kyrgios smashing his racket and berating the umpire once more at the change of ends.
With Kyrgios suffering a meltdown, Kokkinakis was able to step up. He struck a number of winners in the next four games to steer the pair to victory and into their first major final.
They score a 7-6(4) 6-4 upset over No.3 seeds Granollers/Zeballos and will face fellow Aussies Matt Ebden/Max Purcell for the title.#AusOpen · #AO2022
🎥: @wwos · @espn · @eurosport · @wowowtennis pic.twitter.com/82PgEcuoep
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2022
“It’s all about the crowd, the atmosphere, that gets us going and we worry about the tennis second,” Kokkinakis said after the match. “It brings the best out of us and I don’t know if we would have got this result anywhere else.
“I think both of us bring something different, different energy, different sort of charisma on the court, but we just enjoy it and have fun.”
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, now simply being referred to as the Special Ks, were given a wildcard into the doubles draw and their run to the final has seen them knock off four seeded opponents.
The women’s singles final and men’s doubles final will be played on Saturday night at Rod Laver Arena. The cheapest adult ticket currently available is selling for AU$325.