The ‘Special Ks’ Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis sparked more home celebrations at the Australian Open by claiming the men’s doubles title – and Kokkinakis told his playing and bromance partner: “I love you brother.”
Following victorious Ash Barty onto the Rod Laver Arena, the wildcards beat fellow Aussies Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell 7-5 6-4.
The childhood friends chest-bumped and hugged in emotional scenes after claiming their first Grand Slam title together.
Kyrgios has stated he wants to bring tennis to a wider audience but he led calls to have a rowdy fan ejected in the penultimate game.
The trophy was presented by two Aussie doubles legends Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge – the Woodies.
Kokkinakis said: “Wow – what a week. It was a super tough match but it has been a great week all round. Secondly, Nick, I love you brother.
“I can honestly say we did not expect to even come close to this. We couldn’t ask for anything more. It has been a tough couple of years for me and this is a crazy cherry on top.”
Kyrgios added: “This week has been a dream come true for me – I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. I am just super happy – I don’t even know how we are doing this or what is going on right now to be brutally honest.
“I battled Covid a week before the Aus Open so to my team and my beautiful girlfriend, she looked after me as well.”
He then pointed to his partner Kokkinakis and said: “I know this big boy is going to be out tonight so ladies, let’s go. I have crossed the line so I will stop now!”
Purcell said: “Well done guys – you were far too good. I hope to see you back on the doubles court together soon – you are great to watch.”
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In a tight match dominated by serve, the Special Ks forced the first break points at 5-5 in the first set and took the fourth when Ebden dumped a volley into the net from a Kokkinakis return.
And they took the only break point in the second set at 3-3 and when Kokkinakis slipped and fell after winning the final point of the next game, Kyrgios ran over and lifted him up off the court.
In the first point of the final game, a fan shouted out on the Purcell serve and Kyrgios led calls for the youngster to be ejected from the Rod Laver Arena.
“Get him out, get him out,” he yelled and gestured. Huge applause rang out when security escorted him and his friend from the stadium
The M&Ms saved a first championship point in that game with a big Purcell serve.
But Kyrgios served out the match in the next game as Kokkinakis took the first match point with a backhand volley down the middle.