Nick Kyrgios throws Thanasi Kokkinakis ‘under a bus’ in hilarious press conference
Australian tennis fans have become accustomed to Nick Kyrgios’ antics on the court over the years but he was a brand new man without the weight of a nation on his shoulders.
The 25-year-old is renowned for the occasional dummy spit, and doesn’t shy away from confrontations with umpires.
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It’s made him a lightening rod for critics as his antics often don’t go over too well with the tennis traditionalists or the ATP.
Kyrgios showed signs of frustration during his enthralling five-set encounter with world No. 3 Dominic Thiem on Friday evening, regularly battling with the chair umpire about crowd control, the net technology and the serving clock.
But on Saturday afternoon, tennis fans saw a very different Kyrgios in action on Court 3 in Melbourne Park.
The Canberran combined with Thanasi Kokkinakis for a doubles match, the pair trumping South Africa’s Lloyd Harris and Austria’s Julian Knowle in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
Kokkinakis had bounced back from injuries throughout his career before he was knocked out in the second round five-set epic against Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas.
While the lack of a crowd at a Kyrgios match was one thing, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis were having the time of their lives.
It extended off the court as well with Kygios and Kokkinakis having a hilarious post-match press conference after the first round doubles victory.
Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios having a laugh.Source:News Corp Australia
Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios celebrate.Source:News Corp Australia
There was a smile plastered on Kyrgios’ face throughout the entire 62 minutes, regularly laughing with Kokkinakis and throwing in a handful of tweeners for good measure.
He even encouraged his rivals during the encounter, congratulating them for classy winners.
The stressed, anxious Kyrgios fans witnessed in the singles competition was nowhere to be seen.
In the post-match press conference, the joking continued as Kokkinakis said the pair spoke about “social one per cent, social …”
Kyrgios replied: “I don’t know about that. There was a bit of talk out there today, tactically.”
Kokkinakis: “Alright, maybe a bit but it was definitely more just rubbish.”
Kyrgios: “Well I’m a taken man, so he was talking to me about girls.”
Kokkinakis: “He’s just thrown me under a bus. That’s not true but we were just having fun.”
Kyrgios continued his cheeky responses when he was asked about what had changed fro their last match.
“His direct messages,” Kyrgios said.
Communication is 🔑😃@NickKyrgios and @TKokkinakis are off to a hot start in their doubles campaign taking the first set 6-2 🇦🇺#AusOpen | #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/IJjoMSHq5B
Is anyone having more fun than these two? 😃@NickKyrgios x @TKokkinakis celebrate cruising through in straight sets 6-2 6-4 🇦🇺#AusOpen | #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/9kNdwh2wke
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis having an absolute ball playing doubles together 💕💕 lads also winning
I think Kokk is wearing KMart again
As pointed out by The Monthly’s Richard Cooke, Kyrgios seemingly flourishes in a team environment, whether that be in a doubles match or the Davis Cup.
After his round two singles victory over France’s Ugo Humbert on Wednesday, Kyrgios admitted: “I was actually just thinking about all the s**t I was gonna cop if I lost that match.”
And without the lingering fear of media scrutiny, Kyrgios’ love for the sport was more apparent than ever on Saturday.
Kokkinakis and Kyrgios combined for eight aces in Saturday’s match, and will come up against fourth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Lukasz Kubot in the second round.
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