Melbourne, Australia, 23 January 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Jason Kubler and Rinky Hijikata have staged a remarkable comeback to keep their Australian Open 2023 doubles campaign alive.

The Aussie wildcards looked in trouble when they trailed Bosnian Tomislav Brkic and Ecuador’s Gonzalo Escobar 1-6 2-4 in their third-round clash at Margaret Court Arena today.

But 29-year-old Kubler and 21-year-old Hijikata fought back, showing incredible grit to save a match point in a high-pressure second-set tiebreak.

From there, they closed out a 1-6 7-6(8) 6-4 victory in the two-hour and 17-minute battle.

“It’s unbelievable,” Kubler said. “This is the first time we’ve played together. Hopefully we keep it going.”

The Aussie wildcards, who are both enjoying a career-best run in a Grand Slam men’s doubles draw, next meet the tournament’s top seeds, Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Brit Neal Skupski.

“We’re just riding the wave right now,” Kubler said. “We’re using everyone’s energy and fighting until the end.”

John Peers and his German partner Andreas Mies have also progressed to the quarterfinals, sealing their spot with a comprehensive 6-0 6-3 victory against Aussie wildcards Alex Bolt and Luke Saville.

“We came out on fire today, which was good,” said world No.38 Peers. “We made them play a lot of balls and everything sort of just fell our way, which was great for us.”

This is the fourth time that 34-year-old Peers, who grew up in Melbourne and was once a ballkid at the tournament, has advanced to an Australian Open men’s doubles quarterfinal.

AUSSIES IN ACTION – Australian Open

Men’s doubles, third round
[14] John Peers (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) d [WC] Alex Bolt (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) 6-0 6-3
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) d Tomislav Brkic (BIH)/Gonzalo Escobar (ECU) 6-1 6-7(8) 6-4

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) v [1] Wesley Koolhof (NED)/Neal Skupski (GBR)
[14] John Peers (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) v [8] Marcel Granollers (ESP)/Horacio Zeballos (ARG)

> VIEW: Australian Open 2023 men’s doubles draw

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