After delighting energised home fans with carefree and entertaining shotmaking, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios celebrated with a chest bump on match point after upsetting No. 1 seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in straight sets in the second round of doubles at the Australian Open Friday.
With both Australians out of the singles after Kyrgios’ defeat to World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev on Thursday, the duo played loose seemingly with nothing to lose on Kia Arena in front of a raucous home crowd.
The top-ranked Croatian pairing was undone by a strong serving performance from their opponents, who fired 17 aces and won 88 per cent of points behind first serves. Kokkinakis and Kyrgios took the first set tie-break with their fourth set point, before securing the only break of the second set to run out 7-6(8), 6-3 winners.
The defeat leaves World No. 1 Pavic and World No. 2 Mektic still searching for their second Grand Slam title, after their victory at Wimbledon in 2021.
This is the fourth time Kokkinakis and Kyrgios have played together at the Australian Open but their first time reaching the third round. Their next opponents will be either the 15th seeds, Uruguayan Ariel Behar and Ecuadoran Gonzalo Escobar, or all-German pairing Jan-Lennard Struff and Dominik Koepfer.
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Third seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos lost just 10 points on their own serve in a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 win over Brit Jonny O’Mara and Belarussian Andrei Vasilevski. Spaniard Granollers and Argentine Zeballos advanced to a second appearance in the Australian Open third round with ease. The four-time ATP Masters 1000 winners are bidding for a first Grand Slam crown in Melbourne.
Two-time Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies continued to impress in their second tournament back together since Mies’ recovery from knee surgery. The 12th-seeded Germans beat Americans Austin Krajicek and Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-4, facing only one break point in the match as they reached the third round in Melbourne for the first time.
Their next opponents will be fifth seeds Australian John Peers and Slovak Filip Polasek. They faced a second all-Australian team in a row, winning 92 per cent of points behind first serves on their way to beating wild cards Rinky Hijikata and Tristan Schoolkate 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.