Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios pulled off an impressive comeback match tie-break against Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek on Wednesday to keep their hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals alive.
After a slow start to the Green Group clash, the eighth seeds fed on the energy of an increasingly rowdy Pala Alpitour crowd as they rallied from 1/5 in the Match Tie-break to clinch a 3-6 draw. , 6-3, 10-6 victory in the prestigious season finale.
“I was thinking to myself, ‘If we lose today, [would be] out of the whole event, so I’m going to go out there and do what I can,’” Kyrgios said. “We’re the couple that can do that pretty much every time we play, so why not use that to our advantage? The crowd was incredible and they got us over the line.”
Building momentum towards the end of the 81-minute match, Kokkinakis and Kyrgios reveled in the noise of the fans inside the Pala Alpitour. The pair won nine of the last 10 points to cap an impressive victory in which they saved four of five break points, with Kokkinakis admitting he had felt shadows of the pair’s run to the Australian Open title in the Turin atmosphere. .
“It’s a good energy and it encouraged me,” Kokkinakis said when asked about Kyrgios and the way he had played in front of the crowd. “I started playing my best tennis after [Kyrgios] gotten up [the crowd]. That’s how we found it in Australia… So we loved it”.
The win was crucial to Kokkinakis and Kyrgios’ chances of reaching the semifinals on their debut at the Turin tournament. The pair now have a 1-1 record in the Green Group and will take on Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic on Friday in their final round-robin match.
In addition to triumphing at their home Grand Slam in Melbourne, Kokkinakis and Kyrgios also won an ATP 250 title in Atlanta this season. Wednesday’s win improved the duo’s record at tour level in 2022 to 20-9.
© Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour