Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios may have been rivals on the singles court earlier this week at the US Open, but their ‘Special Ks’ doubles partnership is showing little sign of slowing down in New York.
The Australian duo raised its game at crucial moments to defeat Yoshihito Nishioka and Andre Goransson 6-4, 7-6(3) on Saturday and advance to the third round on tournament debut at the hard-court Grand Slam. Kyrgios and Kokkinakis did not face a break point and won 85 per cent (39/46) of points behind their first serves to wrap a 84-minute win that improved their team record at majors this year to 8-0.
Kyrgios defeated Kokkinakis in the first round of the US Open singles on Tuesday. The Australian pair lifted its maiden Grand Slam title together at the Australian Open in January and its next assignment in New York is a third-round meeting against 11th seeds Harri Heliovaara and Lloyd Glasspool.
Also on Saturday, second seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski held their nerve to overcome home favourites Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4. Koolhof and Skupski, who lead the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings after lifting six tour-level titles in 2022, next face Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell. The Wimbledon champions also downed an American duo, Robert Galloway and Alex Lawson, 6-2, 6-2.
The 2019 champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah kept their bid for a second US Open crown alive but were made to work overtime for a second-round win by Diego Hidalgo and Fabien Reboul. Cabal and Farah won four fewer points than their opponents in a three-hour, 23-minute epic but prevailed 7-6(2), 6-7(5), 7-6(10-7) to book a third-round appointment with Tim Puetz and Michael Venus. The fourth-seeded German-New Zealand duo beat Nuno Borges and Francisco Cabral 6-4, 7-6(3).
Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic wasted no time booking their third-round spot. The 2020 finalists eased past home wild card pairing Nicholas Godsick and Ethan Quinn 6-1, 6-3 in just 56 minutes.