Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios pulled off a stunning Match Tie-break comeback against Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek on Wednesday to keep their Nitto ATP Finals semi-final hopes alive.
After a slow start in the Green Group clash, the eighth seeds fed off the energy of an increasingly raucous Pala Alpitour crowd as they rallied from 1/5 in the Match Tie-break to clinch a 3-6, 6-3, 10-6 win at the prestigious season finale.
“I was thinking to myself, ‘If we lose today, we [would be] out of the whole event, so I am going to go out and there and do what I can do’,” Kyrgios said. “We are the pair that is able to do that pretty much every time we play, so why don’t we use that to our advantage. The crowd was amazing and they got us over the line.”
As they built momentum towards the end of the 81-minute encounter, Kokkinakis and Kyrgios revelled in the noise provided by the fans inside the Pala Alpitour. The pair won nine of the final 10 points to cap a stunning win in which they saved four of five break points, and Kokkinakis admitted he had felt shades of the pair’s run to the Australian Open title in the Turin atmosphere.
“It is a good energy and it lifted me,” Kokkinakis said when asked about Kyrgios and the way he had played to the crowd. “I started playing my best tennis after [Kyrgios] lifted [the crowd]. That is how we found it in Australia… So we loved it.”
The win was crucial for Kokkinakis and Kyrgios’ chances of reaching the semi-finals on tournament debut in Turin. The pair now holds a 1-1 record in Green Group and will meet Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic on Friday in their final round-robin match.
As well as the triumph at their home Grand Slam in Melbourne, Kokkinakis and Kyrgios also won an ATP 250 title in Atlanta this season. Wednesday’s victory improved the duo’s tour-level record in 2022 to 20-9.