Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios made the most of an unexpected appearance at the Ariake Colosseum with a dominating doubles victory Wednesday night at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo. Originally scheduled for the second stadium in Tokyo, the Aussies' showdown against Japanese guests Yoshihito Nishioka and Kaichi Uchida was moved to the indoor center stage after persistent rain.
The top seeds thrived under the spotlight and did not face a break point as they advanced, 6-1, 6-2. The reigning Australian Open and Atlanta champions are seeking their third title of the season as they step up their bid to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.
The pair are currently seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Team Rankings, with a place in the top eight needed to guarantee a place in Turin. "Hopefully we can continue our doubles form," Kyrgios said after the duo's 47-minute win.
"We had a great year. We won the Australian Open. I see a lot of Australian fans and people who want us to do well so we'll continue to do well for you guys and have fun." Also fighting for a place in the year-end event is another Australian duo: second seed Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell.
This year's Wimbledon champions opened their campaign in Tokyo with a 6-2, 7-6(4) victory against Alexei Popyrin and Ramkumar Ramanathan. Third-seeded Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez also advanced, courtesy of a 7-6(5), 6-4 decision against Hans Hach Verdugo and Miomir Kecmanovic, while Alex de Minaur and Frances Tiafoe retired with a 6-3 , 6-1 loss to Mackenzie McDonald and Marcelo Melo.
Nick Kyrgios is playing well
Nick Kyrgios is accused by his former girlfriend, Chiara Passari, of domestic violence. His trial was postponed several times. The first hearing will finally be held today in Canberra. We remind you that the Australian does not need to be present, his lawyer is enough, which is why he will be fine on the courts in Tokyo.
Nick faces a maximum of two years in prison. During the media day of the tournament in the Japanese capital, the Australian was asked about his concerns about the audience, as well as his way of handling this rather delicate situation.
“There are very few things that I can control and I take all necessary measures to deal with them off the court. I do everything I can. I'm here in Tokyo and I'm just trying to play good tennis, keep that momentum going and try to do my job - which is to play tennis, play well.
That's all," said the Australian. The 20th player in the world "visibly" has great confidence in his defense, he prefers to talk about his tennis.