The Special Ks stunned Australia in 2022 but Thanasi Kokkinakis has doubts about his and Nick Kyrgios’ chances of winning back-to-back doubles titles at the Australian Open.
Don’t expect a repeat of last year’s exploits from the Special Ks.
This is Thanasi Kokkinakis’ honest assessment of his partnership with Nick Kyrgios’ chances of winning back-to-back doubles titles at the Australian Open.
“No, I don’t,” Kokkinakis replied when asked if the Australians could come back.
“If I said I expected to support it, I’d be lying.
“Last year was something we didn’t expect. I remember after every game we won, people would text me saying, “You’re going to win this thing.”
“I say, ‘No, someone’s going to hit us. We will definitely lose against a double team.
“Then from the quarter-finals it became a possibility, a legitimate thought, we can do better than these guys, we can win.”
Kyrgios has already hinted that singles is the priority and he would pull out of doubles if necessary if there was a problem with scheduling.
The pair are seeded at number 7 this year, with Kokkinakis saying their fate revolves around their health.
“We’re going to go out there and give 100 percent and hopefully we’re both going to be healthy,” he said.
Last year’s stunning double-header ignited the Australian Open and gave organizers an incredible boost in week two as the Special Ks stormed all the way to the title alongside fellow Australian Ash Barty.
Kokkinakis knows that much of their support stems from their entertaining attitude on the pitch and while this style has occasionally rubbed opponents the wrong way, there is little doubt that it has been embraced by Australian viewers.
Kyrgios is the biggest headline act in tennis and while his behavior has sometimes walked the line between what is and isn’t acceptable, Kokkinakis believes his doubles partner handles the spotlight well, considering that in media coverage at times measured with double standards.
“I think some of the things that he does that people might see as negative get a little bit more of a spotlight than others because maybe he has a reputation for it,” Kokkinakis said.
“A couple of things if other players were doing it wouldn’t be as focused as when Nick does it.
“He’s not a saint at the same time. He’s done a few things that are probably justified. I find some things unfair.
“At the end of the day, he just finds a way to make it as good as possible. There is enormous pressure on him. He feels like he’s trying to be the best he can be. Sometimes he can handle it. Everyone deals with things differently.
“He had a phenomenal year last year. He will continue to give everything.”
Originally released as Australian Open 2023, Thanasi Kokkinakis doubts Special Ks can repeat 2022 double win
https://www.codesports.com.au/sport/australian-open-2023-thanasi-kokkinakis-doubts-special-ks-can-repeat-2022-doubles-success/news-story/4886969d48af2d00f1c408c87a8391ac?nk=3f13e7bbc8391e569a02bcb70872ff18-1673769016 Australian Open 2023: Thanasi Kokkinakis doubts that Special Ks can repeat the double success of 2022