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The Special Ks, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, back in action at Wimbledon

By on June 21, 2022 0

Tennis stars Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis will resume their Australian Open-winning partnership at Wimbledon next week.

They will join forces at the All England Club for the fourth time this year, having won the 2013 junior men’s Grand Slam title on grass.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis battled their way to an unlikely doubles championship at Melbourne Park in January and also made the semi-finals of the Miami Open together.

The ‘Special Ks’ sit sixth in the ATP doubles race, but will be the No. 11 seeds at Wimbledon, where fellow Australian John Peers (eighth) – along with Slovakian partner Filip Polasek – along with Max Purcell and Matt Ebden (15th) is also ready to be seeded.

Purcell and Ebden finished second to Kyrgios and Kokkinakis at the Australian Open.

Australians Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis combined to win the Wimbledon junior doubles title in 2013. Photo: AP PhotoSource: AP

Kyrgios will enter Wimbledon in excellent form after semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle suggest he will be a threat to anyone in the singles draw.

The 27-year-old Brandon also became the first athlete to sign with Naomi Osaka’s sports agency Evolve after the former world No. 1 left IMG to start a new venture with her agent Stuart Duguid.

“When I learned that Stuart and Naomi were starting an agency focused on supporting athletes like me, it made perfect sense to join them,” Kyrgios said.

“I’ve always tried to do things differently throughout my career and bring all my personality to tennis.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Stuart and Naomi to continue to build on what we started and move the game of tennis forward.”

Osaka said Kyrgios epitomized the type of athlete Evolve wanted to portray, praising Canberran’s “unparalleled style, passion and personality unlike any other in the sport”.

‘Totally makes sense’: Kyrgios joins new Osaka company in big career move

Kyrgios drew Laslo Djere in the first round of this week’s Mallorca Championships in Spain in his final tune-up event for Wimbledon.

Qualifier Jordan Thompson starts against eighth-seeded Argentine Sebastian Baez.

In other Australian tennis news, Alex de Minaur and John Millman advanced to Round 2 at Eastbourne with respective wins in straight sets.

Alex de Minaur had few problems reporting for Cristian Garin at Eastbourne. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Sixth-seeded De Minaur beat Cristian Garin 6-3 6-3 in 81 minutes, while 86th-seeded Millman stunned rising USA star Sebastian Korda 6-3 7-6 (7-5 ).

Korda pulled out of Wimbledon shortly after his loss, posting on Twitter that he had “been battling terrible shin splints and kicked feet for some time.”

de Minaur awaits the winner between Australian James Duckworth and Italian Lorenzo Sonego, while Millman is expected to face Kazakh Alexander Bublik.

In the women’s draw, Ajla Tomljanovic won a rollercoaster 6-0 4-6 6-3 match against Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic to book a date with eighth seed Jelena Ostapenko.

Kyrgios climbs the standings ahead of Wimbledon tilt

Nick Kyrgios has his highest ranking in almost two years thanks to his blistering form on grass which makes him the most dangerous unranked player at Wimbledon next week.

The Aussie star moved up 20 places to No.45 on Monday after reaching the semi-finals in Halle, where eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz narrowly edged him in a third-set tie-break.

His singles ranking exploded to 137 in the weeks after winning the Australian Open doubles title with Thanasi Kokkinakis, before impressive runs as a wild card in Indian Wells and Miami put him back on track.

Kyrgios dismantled top-20 rivals Pablo Carreno-Busta and world No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas in Halle to go this far, having reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart the previous week.

He admitted to being “satisfied” with his form after the narrow defeat to Hurkacz and will complete his preparation for Wimbledon at the Mallorca Championships this week in Spain.

Australian Nick Kyrgios is a dark horse for the Wimbledon title. Photo: AFPSource: AFP