Melbourne, Australia, 25 January 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Nicknamed the ‘Special Ks’, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios are certainly producing something special at Australian Open 2022.

The Aussie wildcards continued their giant-killing run through the men’s doubles draw, eliminating sixth seeds Tim Puetz of Germany and Michael Venus of New Zealand 7-5 3-6 6-3 in quarterfinal action today at Melbourne Park.

“We’re stoked with this win,” Kokkinakis said. “We came big in the big points.”

It is Kokkinakis and Kyrgios’ third consecutive victory against a seeded team and propels them into a first Grand Slam semifinal.

“It’s been incredible,” Kyrgios said. “Another tough, tough win. I think that’s probably the toughest pair that we’ve played. They brought some serious tennis today and it wasn’t easy.”

The Aussies had plenty of support once again at Kia Arena and earned even more when Kyrgios gifted a racquet to a young fan in the crowd, after accidentally hitting him with a tennis ball during the fourth game of the opening set.

There was only a single break of serve in a tight opening set, with Kokkinakis and Kyrgios striking in the 11th game.

The Aussies proved unbreakable in the first set, firing 13 aces and winning 91 per cent of first serve points.

World No.18 Puetz and world No.15 Venus found a way though early in the second set, breaking 26-year-old Kyrgios’ serve to build a 3-0 lead.

As emotions heightened in a thrilling contest, this early advantage was enough for Puetz and Venus to level the match at one-set apiece.

Kokkinakis and Kyrgios regained the momentum in the deciding set, breaking Puetz’s serve to love to take a 3-1 lead.

They saved a break point on Kokkinakis’ serve in the seventh game to move ahead 5-2 and from there, closed out a dramatic victory after two hours and 16 minutes on court.

The Aussie pair finished the match with some impressive numbers – firing 25 aces, striking 34 winners and winning 86 per cent of first serve points.

Third seeds Marcel Granollers of Spain and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina now await in the semifinals.

Earlier today, the Wimbledon 2021 finalists knocked out Australian John Peers and Slovak partner Filip Polasek in a quarterfinal battle at Margaret Court Arena.

World No.6 Zeballos and world No.7 Granollers recorded a 7-6(5) 6-4 victory in one hour and 48 minutes, snapping Peers and Polasek’s six-match winning streak.

“Obviously the guys are experienced veterans,” Kokkinakis said of their semifinal opponents. “But we’re going to keep playing how we play, enjoy it, and have fun, and use the crowd.”

Three Australians have also progressed to the semifinals in the mixed doubles competition.

Wildcards Jaimee Fourlis and Jason Kubler have continued their stunning run, while Peers has also advanced to his first AO mixed doubles semifinal alongside Chinese partner Zhang Shuai.

> READ: Dream run continues for Fourlis and Kubler

Australian Open 2022

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d [6] Tim Puetz (GER)/Michael Venus (NZL) 7-5 3-6 6-3
[3] Marcel Granollers (ESP)/Horacio Zeballos (ARG) d [5] John Peers (AUS)/Filip Polasek (SVK) 7-6(5) 6-4

Mixed doubles, quarterfinals
[WC] Jaimee Fourlis (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) d Sania Mirza (IND)/Rajeev Ram (USA) 6-4 7-6(5)
[2] Zhang Shuai (CHN)/John Peers (AUS) d [8] Ena Shibahara (JPN)/Ben McLachlan (JPN) 6-4 6-4

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
Matt Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) v [10] Wesley Koolhof (NED)/Neal Skupski (GBR)

Men’s doubles, semifinals
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v [3] Marcel Granollers (ESP)/Horacio Zeballos (ARG)

> VIEW: Australian Open 2022 men’s doubles draw

Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
[9] Storm Sanders (AUS)/Caroline Dolehide (USA) v [1] Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)/Katerina Siniakova (CZE)

> VIEW: Australian Open 2022 women’s doubles draw

Mixed doubles, semifinals
[WC] Jaimee Fourlis (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) v Lucie Hradecka (CZE)/Gonzalo Escobar (ECU)
[2] Zhang Shuai (CHN)/John Peers (AUS) v [5] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)/Ivan Dodig (FRA)

> VIEW: Australian Open 2022 mixed doubles draw

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