Nick Kyrgios Australian Open 2022

‘They were a bit salty’ – Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis play off Australian Open fight threat

Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios have made light of being offered to a fight by a Croatian coach at the Australian Open, as Kokkinakis “thought they’d handle losing better than that.”

Australian duo Kokkinakis and Kyrgios have lit up the Australian Open doubles and have reached the quarter-finals, beating number one seed partnership and top two players in the world Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic.

This impressive run comes after Kokkinakis won the Adelaide International 2 and Kyrgios put on an entertaining display against singles World number two Daniil Medvedev.

However, the duo’s win over the world’s best ranked partnership was marred by unsavoury scenes in the locker room after the match. Tempers flared when a fitness trainer on the Croatian team offered to fight Kyrgios after he struck one of his Croatian counterparts.

Kokkinakis has now opened up on the situation in a post-match press conference, saying “he came up and smashed a foam roller against a pole as hard as he can. I wasn’t sure if he was kind of joking … I wasn’t sure if he was about to berate his players.

“He came up to Nick and said we were being disrespectful. Nick hit the opponent with a ball, but that’s normal. Doubles players have got unbelievable hands, so you have to go at them.

“They said we were showboating, but I’m sure if we played away in Croatia it would’ve been the same thing. It was just our energy and I think at the end of the day they were a bit salty they lost,” Kokkinakis claimed.

“They’ve won their fair share of tournaments so I thought they’d handle losing a little better than that.

“At the end of the day, we’re just trying to entertain the crowd. We didn’t mean anything disrespectful, we’re trying to get ourselves and our energy up. It was a little aggressive on his part though, for sure.”

Kyrgios has been enjoying his foray into doubles tennis and jokingly wished the Croatians a pleasant flight, “enjoy your flight home” he said with a laugh.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.