Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis turn rivals in brutal US Open twist

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Aussie tennis players Nick Kyrgios (pictured right) and Thanasi Kokkinakis (pictured left) smile after winning the Australian Open doubles trophy.
Aussie tennis players and doubles partners Nick Kyrgios (pictured right) and Thanasi Kokkinakis (pictured left) have been drawn against each other in the firs round of the US Open. (Getty Images)

Aussie fans are equally excited and disappointed to find out that good friends Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis will face each other in the first round of the US Open.

The main draw threw up a number of exciting match-ups for the New York grand slam, but only one of Kyrgios and Kokkinakis will be advancing to the second round after drawing each other.

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The doubles partners will face each other in the first round of singles, before embarking on a third ATP doubles title for the year after their maiden Australian Open title.

Kyrgios will be favourite to advance after his incredible run of form since the beginning of Wimbledon.

The Aussie lost in the final against Novak Djokovic, before going on to win the Citi Open in Washington.

However, Kyrgios has been drawn on the same side as World No.1 and defending champion Medvedev.

If he beats Kokkinakis, he'll likely play dangerous French leftie Ugo Humbert in the second round and battle-hardened Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, the No.16 seed in the third, before a possible match-up with Medvedev.

Kyrgios will draw confidence from his victory over the World No.1 at the Cincinnati Masters only last week.

Regardless, the Aussie faces a tough draw to reach the final and potentially face Rafa Nadal.

Aussie fans reacted with mixed emotions to Kyrgios' match-up with fellow Aussie Kokkinakis and a potential match-up with Russian Medvedev.

And in a Flushing Meadows men's field without Djokovic, Rafael Nadal will open his bid for a 23rd grand slam title against Australian wildcard Rinky Hijikata when the main draw kicks off next week.

Novak Djokovic withdraws from US Open draw

Unfortunately for tennis, the biggest talking point before the draw was Djokovic's absence.

Only hours before the draw, Djokovic announced his withdrawal due to his ineligibility to enter the country as a result of his unvaccinated status.

The 21-time major champion, who'd been dreaming of drawing level with Nadal's record mark of 22 at Flushing Meadows, had hoped the US authorities might change long-standing rules to allow non-citizens without a coronavirus vaccine to enter.

Novak Djokovic (pictured) celebrates with the Wimbledon trophy.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) won't be taking part in the US Open due to his unvaccinated status.(Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

However, after no change to border restrictions, Djokovic had no choice but to withdraw.

"Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open. Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support," Djokovic said on Twitter.

"Good luck to my fellow players! I'll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!"

with AAP

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