Melbourne, Australia, 13 February 2021 | Leigh Rogers

It was eerily quiet at Melbourne Park today, with fans not allowed to attend. However, that did stop our Aussie players from producing some sensational doubles results.

Best mates Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis made a winning start to their Australian Open 2021 doubles campaign. The Aussie duo, who are playing together at a Grand Slam for the first time since Australian Open 2015, advanced to the second round with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Austrian Julian Knowle and South African Lloyd Harris.

“We just wanted to play. Hopefully it was in front of some fans – it wasn’t today, but that’s all right,” Kokkinakis said.

There was plenty of smiles and laughs, with the pair admitting not all on-court talk was tactical.

“Maybe a little bit, but it was definitely more just rubbish,” Kokkinakis revealed.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have experienced success together as juniors, winning the Wimbledon boys’ doubles title in 2013. Today was their first tour-level win as a team.

“I feel like I’ve matured a little bit since the last time we’ve played,” Kyrgios said.

“I’m just glad we got through. It’s good to get our first win together on tour, as well.”

Meanwhile, John Millman is through to the third round of a Grand Slam doubles draw for the first time in his career. The 31-year-old from Queensland teamed with Brazilian Thiago Monteiro to defeat No.16-seeded British brothers Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski in a three-set second-round match.

Five teams featuring Australian players remain in the men’s doubles draw.

> VIEW: Australian Open 2021 men’s doubles draw

Andrew Harris and Ellen Perez shared a major milestone today, scoring their first career Grand Slam mixed doubles wins.

The 26-year-old Harris and 25-year-old Perez defeated Australia’s Luke Saville and American Asia Muhammad in two close sets. They now face all-Australian combination Marc Polmans and Storm Sanders in the second round,  guaranteeing at least two Australian players will progress to the quarterfinals.

Astra Sharma and John-Patrick Smith held a match point in the second set of their first-round mixed doubles showdown with Polish pair Iga Swiatek and Lukasz Kubot, but the 2019 finalists eventually lost in a match tiebreak.

> VIEW: Australian Open 2021 mixed doubles draw


Aussies in action – day six results

Men’s singles, third round
[16] Fabio Fognini (ITA) d [21] Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-4 6-3 6-4

Women’s singles, third round
[1] Ash Barty (AUS) d [29] Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-2 6-4

Men’s doubles, first round
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d Lloyd Harris (RSA)/Julian Knowle (AUT) 6-2 6-4

Men’s doubles, second round
John Millman (AUS)/Thiago Monteiro (BRA) d [16] Neal Skupski (GBR)/Ken Skupski (GBR) 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4

Women’s doubles, second round
[9] Alexa Guarachi (CHI)/Desirae Krawczyk (USA) d Arina Rodionova (AUS)/Storm Sanders (AUS) 6-1 5-7 7-5

Mixed doubles, first round
[WC] Andrew Harris (AUS)/Ellen Perez (AUS) d [WC] Luke Saville (AUS)/Asia Muhammad (USA) 7-5 7-6(8)
[3] Mate Pavic (CRO)/Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) d [WC] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS)/Ivana Popovic (AUS) 6-1 6-1
Lukasz Kubot (POL)/Iga Swiatek (POL) d [WC] John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Astra Sharma (AUS) 5-7 7-6(6) [10-6]