Compatriots Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis very much enjoyed themselves on Saturday evening, with the doubles pair keeping their Australian Open run alive with a straight sets win over South Africa’s Lloyd Harris and Austria’s Julian Knowle.
Fresh from his nerve-jangling five-set loss to Dominic Thiem on Friday night, it was a more relaxed Kyrgios on Saturday evening as he and Kokkinakis romped away with a 6-2, 6-4 win.
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In what resembled more of a schoolyard hit-around than a grand slam clash, the Aussie pair cruised into the second round of the doubles competition in style.
For the showman Kyrgios, it was a far cry from the previous night's enthralling clash with Thiem in front of a heaving crowd just before Victoria's COVID-19 lockdown kicked in.
"We were very excited to play in front of fans on showcourt three on a Saturday arvo with everyone just getting p***ed," Kyrgios joked afterwards.
"That would've been awesome to go out there and give them something to kind of go out with a bang.
"But it's good that we got the win today and good just to get our bodies moving as well."
The Aussie pair are good friends off the court and the banter that was evident between the pair during the match extended into an entertaining post-match press conference.
Press conferences are hard enough by themselves... Imagine having your best friend stitching you up the whole time too. 😂 @NickKyrgios @TKokkinakis
STREAM: https://t.co/7uAf53PWTv #9WWOS #AusOpen #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/leEHioaECE
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) February 13, 2021
On court, the two men shared jokes between points and engaged in conversations that Kokkinakis described as only "one per cent" tactical.
Kyrgios replied: “I don’t know about that. There was a bit of talk out there today, tactically.”
Kokkinakis conceded that some of their chat was tactical but most was just "rubbish", prompting a funny response from his partner.
"Well I’m a taken man, so he was talking to me about girls," Kyrgios told reporters.
Kokkinakis shot back: "He's just thrown me under a bus. That's not true but we were just having fun."
Kyrgios was then asked what was different from his last match with Kokkinakis, to which the Aussie replied: "His direct messages".
'Special K's combine to good effect
Kyrgios celebrated the win by appearing to mock rival Novak Djokovic with a sarcastic double fist-pump on his knees in front of the empty stands.
He and Kokkinakis will now take on fourth-seeded Wesley Koolhof and Lukasz Kubot in the second round.
World No.47 Kyrgios sat out of tennis last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In April, he bluntly ruled out playing a grand slam without fans.
But circumstances changed rapidly on Friday when the Victorian government announced a snap five-day lockdown as a result of Melbourne's latest virus outbreak.
"It was tough hearing the news ... and I knew that it was going to affect our doubles match," Kyrgios said.
"But ultimately it is what it is and we've got to just abide by the rules and hopefully we can just finally get over this pandemic in Australia.
"The world's a bit far behind but hopefully by next year we can just not worry about everything and everyone can just have free movement outside and watch some of the best Aussies play.
"For now, we can't do much."
The only minor hitch for the 'Special Ks' in their doubles opener came when they were handed a code violation warning for being late to the court.
There were also a few disagreements with the chair umpire in a match that lasted little more than an hour.
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