Nick Kyrgios news: ‘This one ranks No 1’ and ‘doing it with Kokk is insane,’ says Grand Slam doubles winner
Nick Kyrgios rated his first Grand Slam title as the highlight of his career after ‘rolling off the couch’ to lift the Australian Open men’s doubles trophy.
Kyrgios received a wildcard into the tournament with his childhood friend Thanasi Kokkinakis and the pair rode a wave of raucous support all the way to the end.
They capped a remarkable night for Australian tennis by following Ashleigh Barty’s singles triumph and defeating another all-Australian pair, Matt Ebden and Max Purcell, 7-5, 6-4.
The fairytale is complete 🏆
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2022
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, the first all-Australian pair to win the title since Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde 25 years ago, celebrated with a chest bump and looked genuinely astonished by their achievement.
“I have won some big titles around the world, played some amazing matches,” said Kyrgios. “This one ranks number one for me.
“When I say I wouldn’t want to do it with anybody else, I mean it. It was just special. The whole week, winning each round, I didn’t take it for granted. I was soaking it in.
“The dedication I showed all week for my team, and I’m just super proud of myself. Doing it with Kokk is insane.
“This is a memory that we are never going to forget. We are going to grow old, and we’re always going to be like, ‘Remember that time we rolled off the couch and just won Oz Open’?”
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis were roared on by a packed Rod Laver Arena having brought the type of crowds never before seen for doubles to Melbourne Park.
It has not been without controversy, with a couple of the pair’s opponents taking exception to their antics and the partisan support, while Kyrgios had several fans ejected on Saturday for shouting out during points.
“I would say that we’ve created probably the best atmosphere this tournament has ever seen, to be brutally honest with you,” he said.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2022
“Ash’s father came to us and said the crowd was the best he’s ever seen. Obviously Ash is a hell of a player but I think the ratings speak for themselves. People watch my matches, everywhere I play around the world, the stadiums are full for that reason.”
It was a special moment, too, for Kokkinakis, who has struggled badly with injury problems over the past couple of years but has now followed up a first ATP title at home in Adelaide with a Grand Slam trophy.
He said: “I knew what I was capable of but you always have doubts and you always think to yourself, ‘What if it doesn’t happen, what if my career doesn’t plan out the way I want it to, or what if I never win a title or get a chance like that?’
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) January 29, 2022
“To have the summer I’ve had, I was stoked with making a semi-final in Adelaide. And then to win, I was, like, ‘Can’t get any better than this’. Then to win a Grand Slam after that, this month has been unbelievable for me.
“Hopefully this is a start but, if this is as good as it gets for me, I’m happy.”
By virtue of their win, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis are already in a good position to qualify for the end-of-season ATP Finals but they will not be playing together at Wimbledon, with Kyrgios concentrating on singles.
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