All-Australian boys’ final on Australia Day
Junior duo Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have set up a mouthwatering all-Australian boys’ singles final at the Australian Open.
Junior duo Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have set up a mouthwatering all-Australian boys’ singles final at the Australian Open after blazing through their respective semifinals on Friday.
The last time two locals played off for the Australian Open boys’ title was back in 1994, when Ben Ellwood defeated Andrew Ilie.
Kyrgios tipped the pair would play off for the Championship after his third round win, and his prediction came to reality with both boys thumping their opponents on Margaret Court Arena in style.
Kyrgios – the newest ITF world No.1 and third seed at the Australian Open Junior Championships – set the tone quickly after blasting through eighth-seeded Italian opponent Filippo Baldi 6-2 6-1.
It was a masterful serving display from the 17-year-old ACT native, who nailed nine aces for the match with no double faults. Kyrgios needed a mere 41 minutes to get the job done, including a 17-minute clinic in the second set.
“Obviously I’m really stoked with that performance today, I knew Baldi had been playing some pretty good tennis to make it to the semifinal and I knew I had to stick to my game plan,” Kyrgios said.
It has been a phenomenal tournament for the third seed, who is yet to drop a set or play a match lasting longer than an hour. His biggest challenge to date has come from fellow Australian Omar Jasika in the third round – Kyrgios winning 6-4 6-3 in 53 minutes.
“I like to come out strong, show a bit of fire in the first couple of games, show them that I’m there and that I’m going be tough to beat,” Kyrgios said.
As for 16-year-old Kokkinakis, his 6-3 6-2 win over 11th-seeded Croatian Borna Coric wasn’t as dominant as his compatriot, but it was just as impressive.
With former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic watching on, Coric pushed the Australian but was let down by his inconsistency, particularly off the return. A majority of the points were fought from the baseline, with both boys trying to push one another out of court position.
But it was Kokkinakis who proved too classy, breaking at key moments and coming up with the goods on the big points.
The boys’ final is set to be one full of intrigue, not only due to the pair’s friendship but also because of their history – while Kyrgios holds a 2-0 head-to-head lead, both matches have gone to three sets. Their most recent meeting was at the Optus 18s Championships in December, Kyrgios winning 6-4 4-6 6-4.
Meanwhile, Australian duo Jay Andrijic and Bradley Mousley took out the junior doubles crown on Friday evening downing Germany’s Maximilian Marterer and Austrian Lucas Miedler 6-3 7-6(3). The pair overcame a handful of close matches throughout their draw but stayed strong to come away Grand Slam champions.
Saturday’s all-Australian final between Kyrgios and Kokkinakis will start not before 2.30pm, and will be broadcast live on Channel 7.
In addition, for both the boys’ and girls’ finals, Rod Laver Arena will be open to anyone with a valid ticket for the day, so a ground pass will allow you seats to watch the two finals inside the arena at no extra cost. Of course, anyone with women’s singles final ticket is also entitled to their seat for both junior singles finals.