New York, USA, 2 September 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Teaming up at Grand Slam level for the first time since their sensational Australian Open title-winning run in January, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios have picked up where they left off.

The eighth-seeded Australians recorded their seventh consecutive Grand Slam victory in first-round doubles action at the US Open today.

But it wasn’t without challenges for world No.18 Kyrgios and world No.22 Kokkinakis, who were pushed to three sets by Frenchman Hugo Gaston and Italian Lorenzo Musetti. The Special K’s eventually prevailed 4-6 6-3 6-4 in a two-hour battle in front of a vocal crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

“We made it extremely tough for ourselves, but the crowd was electric,” Kyrgios said.

“We definitely have aspirations to win the tournament, so I’m just glad we’re still in the tournament after tonight.”

Earlier in the day, Wimbledon champions Matt Ebden and Max Purcell fought past No.14 seeds Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Argentina’s Andres Molteni in three sets. After failing to convert four match points in the second set, Ebden and Purcell bounced back strongly to score a 7-6(7) 6-7(8) 6-1 victory.

In women’s doubles action, Storm Sanders and Caroline Dolehide only required 41 minutes to complete their first-round win. The No.12 seeds powered past Italian Lucia Bronzetti and Colombian Camila Osorio 6-0 6-0. Sanders and Dolehide struck 25 winners to their opponent’s five, and lost only five points on serve in a dominant display.

Daria Saville combined with Canada’s Leylah Fernandez to cause a major upset, eliminating No.2 seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula in an absorbing first-round battle. Saville and Fernandez edged out a 3-6 7-5 7-6(5) victory in two-hours and 31-minutes against world No.1 Gauff and world No.6 Pegula, who were Roland Garros finalists earlier this season.

However, defending champion Sam Stosur, partnering Chinese Taipei’s Latisha Chan, and Ajla Tomljanovic, playing with American Sofia Kenin, were both knocked out in the opening round.

In mixed doubles, Max Purcell and Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski eliminated sixth seeds Yang Zhaoxuan of China and Indian Rohan Bopanna in the opening round.

Ellen Perez has also advanced to the second round, teaming with New Zealand’s Michael Venus to defeat former US Open mixed doubles champions Laura Siegemund of Germany and Brit Jamie Murray in straight sets.

Aussies in action – US Open

Men’s doubles, first round
[8] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d Hugo Gaston (FRA)/Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) 4-6 6-3 6-4
Matt Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) d [14] Santiago Gonzalez (MEX)/Andres Molteni (ARG) 7-6(7) 6-7(8) 6-1

Women’s doubles, first round
[12] Storm Sanders (AUS)/Caroline Dolehide (USA) d Lucia Bronzetti (ITA)/Camila Osorio (COL) 6-0 6-0
Daria Saville (AUS)/Leylah Fernandez (CAN) d [2] Coco Gauff (USA)/Jessica Pegula (USA) 3-6 7-5 7-6(5)
Miyu Kato (JPN)/Aldila Sutjiadi (IDN) d Sam Stosur (AUS)/Latisha Chan (TPE) 6-1 6-3
[WC] Hailey Baptiste (USA)/Whitney Osuigwe (USA) d Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)/Sofia Kenin (USA) 6-3 2-6 6-4

Mixed doubles, first round
[7] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Michael Venus (NZL) d Laura Siegemund (GER)/Jamie Murray (GBR) 6-2 7-6(5)
Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN)/Max Purcell (AUS) d [6] Yang Zhaoxuan (CHN)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) 7-5 7-5

Men’s doubles, second round
[8] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Andre Goransson (SWE)/Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN)
Luke Saville (AUS)/Aslan Karatsev v [1] Rajeev Ram (USA)/Joe Salisbury (GBR)
Matt Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) v [WC] Robert Galloway (USA)/Alex Lawson (USA)

> VIEW: US Open 2022 men’s doubles draw

Women’s doubles, second round
[10] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v [WC] Reese Brantmeier (USA)/Clervie Ngounoue (USA)
[12] Storm Sanders (AUS)/Caroline Dolehide (USA) v [WC] Sophie Chang (USA)/Angela Kulikov (USA)
Daria Saville (AUS)/Leylah Fernandez (CAN) v Dalma Galfi (HUN)/Bernarda Pera (USA)

> VIEW: US Open 2022 women’s doubles draw

Mixed doubles, first round
[4] Storm Sanders (AUS)/John Peers (AUS) v [WC] Catherine Harrison (USA)/Robert Galloway (USA)
Sam Stosur (AUS)/Matt Ebden (AUS)
 v Andreja Klepac (SLO)/Santiago Gonzalez (MEX)
Victoria Azarenka/Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v [WC] Caty McNally (USA)/William Blumberg (USA)

Mixed doubles, second round
[7] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Michael Venus (NZL) v Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)/David Vega Hernandez (ESP)
Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN)/Max Purcell (AUS) v TBC

> VIEW: US Open 2022 mixed doubles draw

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