Melbourne, Australia, 19 January 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Excited fans lined up to see Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios in men’s doubles action at Australian Open 2022 today – and the Aussie duo did not disappoint.

A capacity Court 3 crowd at Melbourne Park were treated to an entertaining first-round clash, as Kokkinakis and Kyrgios defeated fellow Australians Alex Bolt and James McCabe 6-4 6-2.

There were plenty of laughs during the 71-minute encounter – but ultimately, a dominant serving display ensured 25-year-old Kokkinakis and 26-year-old Kyrgios recorded an impressive victory.

The Special Ks, as they are affectionately known, served 11 aces and conceded only six points across their nine service games.

Kokkinakis and Kyrgios’ victory sets up a potential second-round showdown with the world’s top team. Top-seeded Croatians Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic, the reigning Wimbledon and Olympic champions, are scheduled to play their first-round match tomorrow.

A number of other Australian players recorded milestone victories today.

Promising 20-year-olds Rinky Hijikata and Tristan Schoolkate made sure their Grand Slam doubles debut was memorable, scoring a 4-6 6-3 6-2 win against fellow Australians Jordan Thompson and Matt Reid.

Jason Kubler, a 28-year-old from Brisbane, and Chris O’Connell, a 27-year-old from Sydney, also recorded their first Grand Slam doubles wins. The wildcards were leading 7-6(6) 3-2 when Spanish opponents Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Jaume Munar retired in their first-round encounter.

Unfortunately, James Duckworth and Marc Polmans lost in the opening round. The Aussie pair, who had advanced to at least the third round in their past two AO appearances together, were outclassed by Brit Jamie Murray and Brazilian Bruno Soares. The eighth seeds and AO 2016 champions posted a 6-3 6-2 win.

Alexei Popyrin and South African partner Lloyd Harris were also eliminated. Fourth-seeded Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah scored a 6-4 7-6(5) win in their first-round meeting.

> READ: Five Australians advance in AO 2022 women’s doubles action

Australian Open 2022

TODAY’S RESULTS
Men’s doubles, first round
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d [WC] Alex Bolt (AUS)/James McCabe (AUS) 6-4 6-2
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Tristan Schoolkate (AUS) d Matt Reid (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) 4-6 6-3 6-2
[WC] Jason Kubler (AUS)/Chris O’Connell (AUS) d Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP)/Jaume Munar (ESP) 7-6(6) 3-2 ret.
[4] Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL)/Robert Farah (COL) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS)/Lloyd Harris (RSA) 6-4 7-6(5)
[8] Jamie Murray (GBR)/Bruno Soares (BRA) d James Duckworth (AUS)/Marc Polmans (AUS) 6-3 6-2

COMING UP
Men’s doubles, first round
[5] John Peers (AUS)/Filip Polasek (SVK) v Luke Saville (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS)
Matthew Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) v Jonathan Erlich (ISR)/Andre Goranssen (SWE)
John Millman (AUS)/Mackenzie McDonald (USA) v Jonny O’Mara (GBR)/Andrei Vasilevski (BLR)
[WC] Andrew Harris (AUS)/Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v Austin Krajicek (USA)/Sam Querrey (USA)
[WC] Dane Sweeny (AUS)/Li Tu (AUS) v [16] Andrey Golubev (KAZ)/Franko Skugor (CRO)

> VIEW: Australian Open 2022 men’s doubles draw

Men’s doubles, second round
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v TBC
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Tristan Schoolkate (AUS)
v TBC
[WC] Jason Kubler (AUS)/Chris O’Connell (AUS)
v TBC

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