Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have pushed the No.1 seed duo at the ATP Finals despite a difficult hurdle before the opening game.
The Aussie duo were cool, calm and collected before their match as they were filmed laughing in the tunnel and singing ‘The Backstreet Boys’ in preparation for the epic showdown with Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski.
In a brutal twist to their chances, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis only stepped off a plane on Sunday having played in Mexico City on Friday.
But after a valiant effort, the ‘Special Ks’ were beaten in a ten-point match tie-break 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 10-5.
The duo pushed the top seeds all the way in Turin on Monday, the Anglo-Dutch pair finally overcoming them after 90 minutes.
While their preparation wasn’t ideal the duo showed plenty of promise in their opening match against the No.1 seeded team.
The duo can take confidence in their performance since this was only Kyrgios and Kokkinakis’ 30th doubles match of the year while their opponents had played more than 70.
And their relaxed state before the match shows they will still back themselves to get out of the Green Group in Turin to deliver Australia a long-awaited ATP Finals doubles title.
Tennis world praise Kyrgios and Kokkinakis
And the tennis world was quick to realise the potential the duo share when they are on form.
Pundit Greg Rusedski, the former US Open finalist, said: ‘Don’t rule out these guys. They pushed the best team in the world the full distance.”
Commentator Daniela Hantuchova, who won all four mixed doubles slams, added: “They played some incredible tennis and have so many positives to take into the rest of the tournament.”
And as they did at the Australian Open, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis brought the crowd into the match.
Viewers enjoyed the spectacle and were once again full of praise for the duo that have brought plenty of attention to the format.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis are looking to make Australian history at the ATP Finals in Turin.
Were they to come through to take the title the Special Ks would be the first all-Australian partnership to win the ATP Finals since 1996 when the ‘Woodies’ – Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge – won the second of their titles.
The ‘Special Ks’ are also the first all-Australian team to qualify for the competition since 2005.
They have won an incredible 18 of their 22 matches together in doubles this year.
Kokkinakis started the year as World No.433 in doubles, but has improved to World No.14.
In similar fashion, Kyrgios has moved from World No.233 to World No.11.
Next up, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis play Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek.