'Show some respect': Kyrgios-inspired antics leave Aus Open rival fuming

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·Sports Reporter
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The vocal support for and antics of Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis left Croatian men's doubles top seed Mate Pavic during he and Nikola Mektic at the Australian Open. Pictures: Channel 9/Getty Images
The vocal support for and antics of Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis left Croatian men's doubles top seed Mate Pavic during he and Nikola Mektic at the Australian Open. Pictures: Channel 9/Getty Images

The antics of the rowdy crowd on hand to watch Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis pull off a surprise upset in the Australian Open men's doubles have come into focus again.

Barely 24 hours removed from Kyrgios' loss to world No.2 Daniil Medvedev the night before, in which a similarly overenthusiastic crowd bothered a visiting star, it was once against the case on Friday.

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Croatian doubles top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic did not seem overly troubled by the crowd's antic until they were facing a break point down 3-2 in the second set.

Despite the chair umpire's calls for quiet during Pavic's serve, the Croatian had clearly had enough of it at a crucial moment in the match.

Frustrated by the somewhat unconventional atmosphere at Kia Arena, Pavic approached the umpire and had a lengthy exchange before eventually returning for his serve.

It wasn't entirely clear what prompted his frustration, the umpire calling for quiet during the wind-up of his serve or Kyrgios moving about on the return - but was clear was that Pavic was not happy.

“This is p***ing me off...don’t let that happen," he could be heard saying as he turned to return to the baseline.

After the match, Pavic told NewsCorp that it was 'something else' other than the crowd that had been bothering him, but reportedly declined to reveal what the true cause was.

While he wasn't blaming the crowd for his frustrations, Pavic was still not overly impressed with their behaviour either, saying it 'wouldn't hurt to show some respect'.

“That’s how they are here. We're used to that, but it wouldn’t hurt them to show some respect,” he said.

“The guys played really well. They’re a nasty team to beat here and that’s it.”

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis storm to Aus Open doubles upset

Combining after both suffered early exits from the singles draw, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis won a thrilling first set tiebreaker before storming through the second set to win 7-6, 6-3 against the pre-tournament favourites.

While not quite as rowdy as the Rod Laver Arena crowd that drew Medvedev's ire the night before, Melbourne Park's show court arena was nevertheless packed to the rafters to witness the pair's thrilling win.

Gold medallists at the Tokyo Olympics last year, Mektic and Pavic have now been knocked out of their last two grand slams in the early rounds by unranked opponents.

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis pulled off a stunning doubles upset against top seeds Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis pulled off a stunning doubles upset against top seeds Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Fans were raving about the packed house for a second round double match, with many taking to social media to point out the rarity of such a crowd.

The arena had no allocated seating and only a ground pass was required for entry, making the Kyrgios-Kokkinakis pairing an enticing opportunity for fans in Melbourne.

Kokkinakis is still only a couple of weeks removed from his first ever ATP title which came as he defeated Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-7 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3. to win the Adelaide International.

Earmarked as a "Special K" and fulcrum of Australian tennis alongside countryman Nick Kyrgios after featuring in two junior grand slam finals, Kokkinakis instead endured a horror injury run that left him contemplating retirement.

With AAP

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