Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski showed their mettle on their Nitto ATP Finals team debut on Monday in Turin, where the top seeds withstood a big-serving barrage from Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis to clinch an opening 6-7(3), 6-4, 10-5 win in Green Group.
Kokkinakis and Kyrgios fired 24 aces in their first tour-level meeting with Koolhof and Skupski and looked well-placed to kick off their own maiden campaign at the season finale with victory after powering through the first-set tie-break.
The Dutch-British duo stayed patient, however, securing a crucial break in the seventh game of the second set before dominating the Match Tie-break for a 91-minute win.
Koolhof and Skupski also produced some high-class serving throughout their triumph. They won 90 per cent (43/48) of points behind their first delivery and were sharp when following at the net as they raised their level at the tail-end of the match to clinch victory.
The pair has enjoyed a stellar first year together on the ATP Tour in 2022. It has won seven tour-level titles and secured the year-end No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Team Rankings by lifting the Rolex Paris Masters trophy a week ago.
Koolhof has enjoyed success at the year-end championships before. Two years ago, the Dutchman triumphed at the Nitto ATP Finals alongside Croatian Nikola Mektic.
Did You Know?
Skupski on Monday joined Koolhof as joint World No. 1s in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings.