Kokkinakis and Kyrgios: “We didn’t expect this at all”
Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios are celebrating winning their maiden Grand Slam doubles title after enjoying a spectacular run at Australian Open 2022.
Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios are still basking in the glory of their Australian Open 2022 men’s doubles title triumph.
The Aussie wildcards clinched their maiden Grand Slam doubles title with a 7-5 6-4 victory against fellow Australians Matt Ebden and Max Purcell in last night’s final.
“I have won some big titles around the world, played some amazing matches. This one ranks number one for me,” beamed Kyrgios.
“It was just special. The whole week, winning each round. I didn’t take it for granted. I was soaking it in. Not one time did it cross my mind that we were going to win the title.”
The 26-year-old Kyrgios has played a limited schedule for the past two years and contracted COVID before the tournament, making the triumph even more unexpected.
“This is a memory that we are never going to forget,” said Kyrgios, whose previous best Grand Slam doubles result was third-round appearances at the US Open in 2016 and Roland Garros in 2017.
“We are going to grow old and we’re always going to remember that time we rolled off the couch and just won Aus Open. Honestly.”
Kokkinakis and Kyrgios eliminated four seeded teams, including four of the world’s top 10 ranked players, during their incredible run.
The Special K’s, as they are affectionately known, are close mates too. Making the victory even sweeter.
“To be a Grand Slam champion with my boy, we have known each other since we were eight, nine years old, done some serious things together, have had some serious experiences, but this is incredible,” Kokkinakis said. “We didn’t expect this at all.”
The 25-year-old Kokkinakis has overcome several serious injury setbacks in his career. Yet the South Australian’s persistence was rewarded this summer, also capturing a maiden ATP singles title at Adelaide earlier this month.
“I have had an unbelievable summer,” Kokkinakis said. “Comparing to what I have gone through in the last few years, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Adelaide was No.1 for me, but this has trumped it.”
It has been a reaffirming experience for Kokkinakis, who admits his resolve had been tested in recent years.
“I knew what I was capable of, but you always have doubts and you always think to yourself, ‘what if it doesn’t happen? What if my career doesn’t plan out the way I want it to? Or what if I never win a title or get a chance like that?’,” he admitted.
“Coming from kind of where I felt was the lowest low, to come and win a title in my hometown was incredible. It’s just a big weight off my shoulders. It’s a testament to my team and everyone that stuck by me through a lot of hard times.
“Then to win a Grand Slam after that, this month has been unbelievable for me … hopefully this is a start. But also if this is as good as it gets for me, I’m happy.”
The success has had a similar impact on Kyrgios, admitting this fortnight has been the best experience of his professional career.
“I feel like a completely different person, to be honest. Just happy,” Kyrgios acknowledged.
Kokkinakis and Kyrgios are the 13th all-Australian team to capture an Australian Open men’s doubles title in the Open era, and the first since Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge 25 years ago.
|Australian Open men’s doubles
All-Australian champions in Open era
|Rod Laver/Roy Emerson||1969|
|John Newcombe/Tony Roche||1971, 1976|
|Ken Rosewall/Owen Davidson||1972|
|John Newcombe/Malcolm Anderson||1973|
|Ross Case/Geoff Masters||1974|
|John Alexander/Phil Dent||1975|
|Ray Ruffels/Allan Stone||1977|
|Peter McNamara/Paul McNamee||1979|
|Mark Edmondson/Kim Warwick||1980, 1981|
|John Alexander/John Fitzgerald||1982|
|Mark Edmondson/Paul McNamee||1983|
|Todd Woodbridge/Mark Woodforde||1992, 1997|
|Thanasi Kokkinakis/Nick Kyrgios||2022|
Kokkinakis and Kyrgios are set to be rewarded when next week’s ATP Tour rankings are released.
Currently ranked No.456 and No.259 respectively, they are both projected to make their top-50 debuts.
“Goes to show when we play together and we are locked in, anything is possible,” Kokkinakis said. “We hope to play a bit more this year.”
Australian Open 2022
Men’s doubles, final
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d Matt Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) 7-5 6-4
Women’s singles, final
 Ash Barty (AUS) d  Danielle Collins (USA) 6-3 7-6(2)
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