WATCH: Nick Kyrgios triumphs over ‘pissed off’ Australian Open top seeds with Thanasi Kokkinakis
While both Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are out of the singles Down Under, the long-time friends are riding high after beating juggernauts Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic from the Australian Open doubles.
The all-Croatian pairing of Mektic and Pavic struck up their partnership at the start of 2021 in anticipation of the Tokyo Olympics and a shot at doubles gold.
Not only did they achieve that dream in Japan, but the duo claimed a further eight titles over the season, including three Masters 1000 crowns and Wimbledon to become the number one doubles team in the world.
However, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis are Australia’s own, with the crowd more than getting behind their men as they took on the top seeds.
A tight and electrically charged match was not without controversy, as the rowdy crowds frustrated Pavic in particular.
Serving a set and 2-3, facing a break point, Pavic approached the chair umpire, between his first and second serve no less, to air his grievances.
“Why do you allow [this]?” Pavic asked about the jeering from the fans.
“This is pissing me off, don’t let that happen,” the doubles world number one finished before returning to the baseline to serve.
The Aussies immediately broke off of that point and won the match soon after, 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 to overcome the Croats.
The result leaves 2020 Australian Open champions and 2021 finalists Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram as the highest seeds left in the draw as the British-American duo look to reach a third consecutive final in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis will face either the German team of Dominik Koepfer and Jan-Lennard Struff or 15th seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar.
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