Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have qualified for the second round of the Australian Open. The two Greek-Australians had to play five-set matches against their opponents in order to get a ticket to the next championship phase.
Kokkinakis qualified after a thrilling match against Latvian Ernests Gulbis that lasted four hours and seven minutes. Meanwhile, Kyrgios won Argentinian Federico Delbonis in three hours and 8 minutes, even though he was experiencing back pains.
“I haven’t had a lot of matches lately so I wasn’t feeling that confident. So to come out with a win is great. I didn’t know what to expect,” said Kyrgios who requested a medical timeout due to his back pain. “I got through the match and I’m really happy with the way I’ve been pulling up. I’ll do everything I can to recover for my next match. I’ve got a great team around me and they’ll help me with everything I can control.”
Kyrgios’ opponent in the next round will be Croatian Ivo Karlovic, who dominated the match against Belgian Ruben Bemelmans.
As for Kokkinakis, he managed to save four match points and celebrated his victory. “I have no idea how I did it! A bit of luck, some skill, I don’t know. Fortunately, I made it. I just trusted myself and focused on my forehand. I could not have done it without these guys, they were incredible: my coach, my parents,” he said. Kokkinakis will be facing Sam Groth in the next round.