Tennis fever has hit Turin this week, with fans coming out in big crowds to get a glimpse of the stars competing at the Nitto ATP Finals. From lining the streets outside the player hotel, to watching at the Allianz Cloud, the fans have shown support.
Australians Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios are making their debut at the prestigious year-end event and have relished their time in Turin so far.
“It’s been a cool experience,” Kokkinakis said. “Obviously everything is A1 here. You’re a select few. Everyone deserves to be here. You’re playing against quality players. So it’s the best of the best. It’s been awesome.”
Good friends off court, Kokkinakis and Kyrgios have delivered together this season, soaring to the Australian Open title in a dream run as a team in January. Having been supported on home soil in Melbourne, Kokkinakis has enjoyed the fan engagement in Turin, even if it hasn’t always been directed towards him.
“[In] Turin, you can tell the fans really love it. They’re stacked outside the hotel just waiting for the big guys to come through. Then they have their phone out. They see me roll up, and you just hear this sigh of disappointment when I roll in. ‘Oh, no, Kokkinakis. Where is Kyrgios’,” Kokkinakis joked.
Kyrgios, who also triumphed alongside Kokkinakis in Atlanta, enjoyed a standout year in singles, reaching the Wimbledon final before he lifted the trophy in Washington.
The 27-year-old is excited to round off his season with his countryman in Italy in just their eighth tour-level event together in 2022.
“It’s been good,” Kyrgios said. “Me and Thanasi never thought we were going to be here at the [Nitto ATP Finals]. We always thought we could do some good things together, but to put a year [together] consistently like this, and we didn’t even play, we played maybe six or seven events or something, so…Yeah, the experience has been cool.”
After losing their first Green Group match, the eighth seeds will next face Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek on Wednesday.