Australian Open locks in huge doubles change amid crowd chaos
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis' doubles semi-final will be played on Rod Laver Arena, Australian Open officials have announced.
The Australian pair's prior four matches have attracted packed crowds at the Kia Arena, with the intense atmosphere frustrating several opponents along the way.
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In a move reflective of the huge showing of support for the duo, Australian Open boss Craig Tiley announced on Wednesday that the doubles match, as well as the wheelchair final featuring fellow Aussie Dylan Alcott, would be moved to the larger stadium.
Fan will be allowed to access both matches with either a ground pass or a Thursday pass to Rod Laver Arena, both of which will cost the same.
Tiley said in the wake of Alcott being awarded Australian of the Year and having announced his tennis retirement late last year, that it was his goal to have the match be the most attended wheelchair final in the sport's history.
“We actually are going to move the Special Ks from Kia arena on to Rod Laver Arena,” Tiley said on Channel 9.
“Anyone coming on site tomorrow with a grand pass can get into Rod Laver Arena and watch them play and not before 2:30, followed by Dylan, so stay and watch Dylan.
"We want to make Dylan’s match the most watched wheelchair tennis match in the history of the game tomorrow afternoon.”
Gunning for an eighth Australian Open wheelchair title in his last tournament before retiring, Alcott takes on second-seeded Dutchman Sam Schroder in the final.
Overall crowd capacity allowed at the Australian Open has been increased to 65 per cent as the tournament nears its conclusion.
Kyrgios, Kokkinakis eyeing Open title
It started out as a wild sideshow but Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are determined to harness the Australian Open's chaotic crowd energy all the way to the doubles title.
The dynamic Australian duo have become Melbourne Park's must-watch act during their unlikely giant-killing run.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have turned the new Kia Arena into a mini colosseum, powering past every experienced doubles combination they have faced.
In an almost unprecedented move, TV broadcasters have been opting to telecast the wild atmosphere of 'Special K' doubles matches instead of blockbuster singles contests involving the likes of the legendary Rafael Nadal.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis will meet third seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in the semi-finals as they aim to seal an unlikely spot in the decider.
Directly after the "unreal scenes" against Tim Puetz and Michael Venus in their quarter-final, Kyrgios declared in his on-court interview: "I'm not finished, I want to win this f***ing thing".
In the press conference, Kyrgios stated he was determined to win for his fans.
"I know that over the years I haven't been the best role model, but I was just learning how to deal with everything," he said.
"I think now at 26 I have matured, and I've definitely realised that a lot of young kids and people, even people that are low on confidence, they do look towards us when we go out there.
"We are not special people. We're normal humans that you might see walking in Australia, and we are now in the semi-finals of a grand slam.
"In Thanasi's case and me, we have been around in some dark times.
"I guess tennis has always had personalities, and they have just really struggled to understand that there are different ways to go about it.
"You've got Roger Federer and these guys that are just once-in-a-generation athletes, I can't be like that."
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