Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have moved into the Australian Open quarter-final for the first time in their career, after a tight three-set victory on Sunday. Elsewhere, Ash Barty looks in ominous form as Dylan Alcott kickstarted his final Australian Open campaign.
Barty progresses into quarters for second time
With the weight of a nation on her shoulders, Ash Barty hosted American Amanda Anisimova on Sunday night.
Coming into the match without dropping any of her last 57 service games, Barty would wriggle herself out of a tricky situation in just the third game of the match, saving a break point.
Each game of the match was even, with both players hitting the ball well, but it was Barty who secured the all-important break to take the score to 4-3.
The 20-year-old Anisimova had an opportunity to get the match back on serve, but was unable to capitalise as the Australian’s class shone through to take the first set.
Anisimova, ranked 60th in the world, broke Barty’s long reign of service games to take a 2-0 lead in the second set.
The Wimbledon champion was having none of that, breaking back immediately to get back on level terms.
Barty dominated the remainder of the match, not looking back as she took the win, 6-4 6-3 in front of her adoring fans.
The world No. 1 is in ominous form, and will face 21st-seed Jessica Pegula in the quarter-final on Tuesday.
The Kyrgios and Kokkinakis Show rolls on
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis entered Kia Arena with a wave of momentum. The pair walked into a packed house, with not a spare seat in sight.
Standing between ‘Special K’ and a quarter-final berth were 15th seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar.
The match remained on serve early, before the Aussies broke serve to take a 5-4 lead. A terrific serving display in the first set, which saw Kyrgios and Kokkinakis hit nine aces to their opponents one, was the difference as the crowd rose from their chairs to celebrate a one set to love lead.
Escobar and Behar broke the Aussie serve twice in the second set, on their way to leveling the match.
Ever the entertainers, the Australians, led by a super-impressive Kokkinakis, hit 10 aces in the final set to take the win.
Kyrgios closed out the final game of the match with two aces and a sensational lob winner, before Kokkinakis won the final match of the point with a backhand volley to send the crowd into raptures. The final score, 6-4 4-6 6-4.
“It’s been pretty easy,” joked Kyrgios when asked how the pair keep winning.
“Today, these guys were tough. They served well. It was incredibly tough to get any rhythm on their serves.
“It’s been a pleasure to play with you brother,” he said to Kokkinakis.
The 25-year-old Kokkinakis was full of praise for his doubles partner.
“I’ve known the big fella (Kyrgios) since he was a chubby kid from canberra. He’s slim and looks good now.
“We’ve been through a lot together.”
The South Australian also thanked the crowd, and pleaded with Australian Open organisers to continue letting them play on Kia Arena.
“The atmosphere is unbelievable… you can’t not get up for matches like this.
“Tell Craig to keep scheduling us here, the atmosphere is nuts.”
The Aussie pair will play Tim Puetz and Michael Venus for a spot in the semi-final, after the German and Kiwi pair won via a walkover. Scheduled to play Christopher O’Connell and Jason Kubler, it’s believed O’Connell succumbed to a hip injury that was suffered early in yesterday’s singles clash.
Fifth seeds John Peers and Filip Polasek progressed to the quarter-final, defeating Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Miles in style, 6-1 6-2.
The Aussie and Slovakian will take on Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos for a spot in the semi-final.
Dylan Alcott begins final Australian Open in style
After announcing his retirement from professional tennis, Dylan Alcott started his quad wheelchair singles campaign on Sunday evening.
Following the Kyrgios and Kokkinakis show, the seven-time Australian Open champion came up against teenage Dutchman Niels Vink on Kia Arena.
Just before the fourth point of the match, Alcott couldn’t help but head-bop to the DJ playing outside the arena, much to the amusement of the crowd.
Alcott constantly revved himself up throughout the first set with shouts of “come on Dylan” as the huge crowd cheered him on.
The 19-year-old Vink was impressive against the world No. 1, breaking serve twice throughout the first set and shocking Alcott to take a first-set tiebreaker.
The best player in the world fought back, taking the second set 6-4. Alcott generated six break points and won half of them, as an error-riddled Vink struggled to remain in the set.
With the score at 5-2 in the final set, Vink received a medical timeout after what looked like a cramping left forearm. The teen star looked in visible pain, but bravely returned to the court.
The 31-year-old Alcott struggled with his first serve in the third and deciding set, hitting at 50 per cent. But it mattered little, as the Australian tennis legend wrapped up the match, winning 6-7(1) 6-4 6-2.
Alcott will face world No. 3 Andy Lapthorne in the semi-final, as his quest for an eighth and final Australian Open crown lives on.
Elsewhere in the quad wheelchair singles, Heath Davidson also moved into the semi-final, defeating Koji Sugeno, 6-2 6-2. Davidson will team up with Alcott in doubles action tomorrow.
In the men’s wheelchair singles action, Tom Egberink knocked out wildcard Ben Weekes in under an hour, 6-1 6-1. Ironically, the pair will team up to play with each other in the doubles tomorrow.
More Tennis News
Australians crash out in mixed doubles
Wildcard pairing Arina Rodionova and Marc Polmans had their Australian Open run halted, going down to fifth seeds Ivan Dodig and Kristina Mladenovic.
The Australians went down by a set to love, but were able to level the match in an excruciating second-set tiebreaker which lasted 18 points.
A final-set super-tiebreaker was required to separate the pairs, with Dodig and Mladenovic claiming it, 6-2 6-7(8) (10-8).
Elsewhere in mixed doubles action, wildcards Ellen Perez and Matwe Middlekoop were knocked out by Sania Mirza and Rajeev Ram, 7-6(6) 6-4.
Aussies in Action on Day Seven
11:00am: Alfie Hewitt/Gordon Reid  vs Tom Egberink/Ben Weekes Court 8
11:00am: Caroline Dolehide/Storm Sanders  vs Marta Kostyuk/Dayana Yastremska Margaret Court Arena
12:30pm: Raven Klaasen/Ben McLachlan  vs Matthew Ebden/Max Purcell Kia Arena
1:30pm: Dane Sweeney/Li Tu [WC] vs Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury  John Cain Arena
2:30pm: Alex de Minaur  vs Jannik Sinner  Rod Laver Arena
4:30pm: Samantha Stosur/Matthew Ebden [WC] vs Jaimee Fourlis/Jason Kubler [WC]
5:30pm: Sam Schroder/Niels Vink  vs Dylan Alcott/Heath Davidson Court 8
Times are subject to change at the discretion of the Australian Open.
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