13/04/2024

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are through to the Australian Open Final. (Photo: ESPN Australia)

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis will face Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell in the 2022 Australian Open Men's Doubles Final.

Mark Edmondson and Kim Wawrick played against Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee in the Australian Open men’s doubles final in 1980.

On Saturday, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis will play Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell in the first all-Australian men’s doubles final since that day, 42 years ago.

Serve-dominant set goes the way of the Aussies

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have endured a magical run at the Australian Open on the road to their first ever grand slam semi-final. The Aussies came up against Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentine Horacio Zeballos on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

After defeating wildcard pairing Alex Bolt and James McCabe in the first round, the Aussie pairing have consecutively defeated the first, 15th and sixth seeds on their way to the semi-final.

In stifling Melbourne heat and humidity, the ‘Special K’ pairing were up and about after the first point of the match, winning the point as Kyrgios asked the crowd for more noise.

Granollers and Zeballos did a good job at keeping the capacity crowd at bay throughout most of the first set, before the Spanish doubles specialist hit a remarkable behind-the-back shot to receive warm applause from the pro-Australian crowd.

Both pairings held their serves as neither pairing generated a break point before the set was sent to a deciding tiebreak.

As the Aussies were serving with three set points, Kyrgios hit a shot between his legs. They wouldn’t win that point, but won the next won, sending the crowd into raptures.

Fired up Kyrgios leads Aussies to glory

In front of Australian sporting legends Steve Waugh and Rod Laver, the 25-year-old Kokkinakis and 26-year-old Kyrgios went up 2-0 in the second set to cement their lead.

As Kyrgios failed to hold his serve with the score at 4-2, the charismatic Aussie smashed his racquet on the court, receiving a warning from the umpire.

The Canberran frequently argued with the umpire throughout the set, believing that the sensor on the net was alerting him to false lets.

The Special K pairing are through to the final. (Photo: Australian Open)

A sensational lob from South Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis ended the tie, 7-6(4) 6-4.

Rod Laver Arena rose as one as Kokkinakis and Kyrgios embraced on the court.

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis will play in their first grand slam final on Saturday.

What about us? Second Aussie pairing reach final

At the same time, Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell were battling in their own men’s doubles semi-final on Margaret Court Arena. The Aussie pair had their work cut out for them, coming up against second-seeds Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram.

The Australian’s hit 13 winners to their opponents six throughout the first set. A double fault allowed them to take the double break and first set in just 33 minutes.

Ebden and Purcell remarkably saved three set-points in a marathon second-set tiebreaker to win and send themselves into Saturday’s final, 6-3 7-6(9).

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Similarly to the Special K’s, the Aussie duo bumped chests as they secured the unlikely upset.

The 34-year-old Ebden will play in his first ever men’s doubles grand slam final whilst Purcell, aged just 23, will play in his second after pairing with Luke Saville in their 2020 Australian Open Final loss.

Saturday’s winner will become the first all-Australian pairing to win the Australian Open since Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde won the championship in 1997.

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