After his elimination from the Indian Wells Masters, Nick Kyrgios fired back at a reporter who questioned him about an incident after the match where he launched his racket, almost hitting a ball-kid.

Rafael Nadal ultimately emerged victorious in the match 7-6 (7-0) 5-7 6-4, after shaking hands with Nadal and the match umpire, Kyrgios spiked his racket into the ground as he walked back to his bench.

Speaking with post-match media, Kyrgios was sarcastic and rude when questioned about it.

"That's a question you're going to say after a three-hour battle against Nadal – that's what you've come here with?" he said.

"What would you like me to say about it? Obviously was that my intention? No, because did I throw the racquet anywhere near him originally? It landed a metre from my foot and skidded and nearly hit him. I'm human. 

"Things happen like that obviously, it was a very misfortunate [sic] bounce. What do you want me to say? It was three metres away from the kid. 

After his elimination from the Indian Wells Masters, Nick Kyrgios fired back at a reporter who questioned him about an incident after the match where he launched his racket, almost hitting a ball-kid.

Rafael Nadal ultimately emerged victorious in the match 7-6 (7-0) 5-7 6-4, after shaking hands with Nadal and the match umpire, Kyrgios spiked his racket into the ground as he walked back to his bench.

Speaking with post-match media, Kyrgios was sarcastic and rude when questioned about it.

"That's a question you're going to say after a three-hour battle against Nadal – that's what you've come here with?" he said.

"What would you like me to say about it? 

"Obviously was that my intention? No, because did I throw the racquet anywhere near him originally? It landed a metre from my foot and skidded and nearly hit him. I'm human. 

"Things happen like that obviously, it was a very misfortunate bounce. 

"What do you want me to say? It was three metres away from the kid. 

Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz set up an all-Spanish semi-final at the Indian Wells Masters, after both secured wins on Thursday.

Nadal overcame a strong start and comeback from Nick Kyrgios to eventually win 7-6(6-0) 5-7 6-4 in the opening quarter-final, before Alcaraz beat defending champion Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-3.

The Spaniard extended his unbeaten run in 2022 to a staggering 19-0, but the win was not without its share of controversy against the fiery Kyrgios.

A shutout tie-break to end the first was followed by a fiery resurgence from Kyrgios, before he eventually collapsed in the third set and nearly hit a ball kid at the end of the match, when the 26-year-old smashed his racquet in frustration before it bounced up dangerously.

Similarly to his fourth-round win over Reilly Opelka, Nadal used all of his tactical nous to nullify Kyrgios’ serve and power, frustrating his opponent to eventually claim the victory.

"It's difficult to play against him [Kyrgios], always tough because he changes the dynamic of the point very quick and his serve is huge, especially the first serve," Nadal said afterwards.

"I think I played a good third set. Returning better, I was solid with the serve. I just suffered in one game with my serve.

"Nick is one of these kinds of players that you’re going to have problems when he’s motivated."

It was a carbon copy of recent matches between the two, with Nadal eventually waiting for Kygrios’ collapse and pouncing. He now leads their head-to-head battle 6-3.

The win set up an exciting match-up with Spanish starlet Alcaraz, who was brimming with confidence against Norrie in the night game.

The 18-year-old gave the Indian Wells defending champion problems with his characteristically flat two-handed backhand, before opening up the shoulders on the forehand side as the game progressed.

It made up for the fact he only won 59 percent of points on first serve, converting on five of his nine break point attempts.

His stroke play from the baseline was at times thrilling, particularly to set up 15-30 in the fourth game before immediately breaking Norrie back.

Rafael Nadal, the 21-time grand slam winner, says the recently announced introduction of final-set tie-breaks across all grand slams will make the biggest impact at Wimbledon, rather than the French Open.

Tennis' Grand Slam Board announced this week that first-to-10 tie-breaks will be trialled across all grand slams with immediate effect, as a means of providing "greater consistency" to matches which go the distance.

Previously, each grand slam was free to adopt its own rules for deciding longer matches, with the Australian Open the only one to use first-to-10 tie-breaks at 6-6 in a deciding set.

Wimbledon, for example, used a first-to-seven tie-break to decide final sets which reached 12-12.

Speaking after dispatching Reilly Opelka in straight sets at the Indian Wells Masters, Nadal, who will look to add to his Australian Open triumph in the year's other three majors, explained he was not for or against the changes.

The 35-year-old also, however, predicted the alterations would have a bigger impact at Wimbledon than at the French Open, which he could win for a 14th time at Roland Garros in May.

"I don't care much, honestly!" said Nadal. "I am not in favour or not against, that's what they decided, and happy with it or not, I don't think I'm going to make a big difference.

"But I read that every [tournament] is going to have the same, and in some ways that's positive.

"I don't think at Roland Garros it will make a big impact. In my opinion the biggest impact is going to be at Wimbledon, [where] sometimes it's so difficult to break serve, so the matches become very long.

"I don't feel that for Roland Garros it will change a lot. Okay, [without the changes] it can be a few more games, but I don't think at Roland Garros you're normally going to go to 22-20. At Wimbledon, that can happen."

 

The longest men's singles match played at a grand slam, judged by the number of games played, came at Wimbledon in 2010, when John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut 6-4 3-6 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-3) 70-68.

By contrast, the longest men's singles match in French Open history saw Fabrice Santoro beat fellow Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-4 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 3-6 16-14, in 2004. 

After defeating Opelka in his round-of-16 tie at Indian Wells, Nadal will now face Australia's Nick Kyrgios for a place in the semi-finals.

Earlier in the week, the Spaniard became the first-ever player to reach 400 wins at Masters 1000 tournaments by beating Dan Evans in the last 32. 

Rafael Nadal did it tough against Reilly Opelka on Wednesday, eventually winning his way through to the quarter-finals at the Indian Wells Masters.

Nadal displayed an abundance of tactical nous, nullifying the American’s big hitting and service game to emerge the 7-6(6-3) 7-6(7-5) winner.

Along with a 76 percent first-serve rate, Opelka hit more winners with 26 for the match, but the 35-year-old Spaniard was able to grind out points from the baseline with his trademark heavy topspin. As a result, Nadal’s winner/unforced error differential was +14 in comparison to Opelka’s +1.

"He is one of the toughest opponents on tour," Nadal said post-match. "It is very tough to control his weapons with his serve and forehand.

"I think I played my best match of the tournament so far today. I am very pleased with how I was able to win the match, with two difficult tie-breaks. This victory means a lot to me."

The highest ranked player left in the draw, Nadal will now face Nick Kyrgios, who progressed to the quarter-finals after Jannik Sinner withdrew with illness.

Matteo Berrettini made a shock exit, meanwhile, losing 6-3 6-7(5-7) 6-4 to unseeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

The Italian world number six was put under constant pressure, with Kecmanovic targeting his backhand and hovered the baseline to close the angles on serve.

The 22-year-old’s only other top 10 victory came against Alexander Zverev, also the world number six then, at Cincinnati in 2019. He will now face Taylor Fritz, who defeated Alex de Minaur 3-6 6-4 7-6(7-5).

Also on Wednesday, Grigor Dimitrov edged past John Isner 6-3 7-6(8-6). In his unique style, the Bulgarian 33rd seed came up with the shot of the day, flicking a forehand pass across the visibly stunned Isner.

He will face Andrey Rublev, who defeated Hurbert Hurkacz 7-6(7-5) 6-4. In Wednesday’s other results, Carlos Alcaraz Garfia comfortably defeated Gael Monfils 7-5 6-1, while Cameron Norrie accounted for Jenson Brooksby 6-2 6-4.

Wild card Nick Kyrgios admitted he was "pretty good" as he won in the opening round at the Indian Wells Masters over Sebastian Baez on Thursday.

The Australian cruised past Baez in one hour and 12 minutes, winning 6-4 6-0 to secure a second-round meeting with another Argentine, 32nd seed Federico Delbonis.

Kyrgios, who had not competed since January's Australian Open, was full of his typical flair, highlighted by 27-15 winners and 12-1 aces.

"When I play good, I'm pretty good," Kyrgios said after the match. "I'm just going back to basics."

Fabio Fognini made history in his 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory over Pablo Andujar, with his 392th career ATP win clocking up the most ever for an Italian, surpassing Adriano Panatta.

Compatriot Lorenzo Musetti also progressed on Thursday with a 6-3 7-5 win over American Marcos Giron.

Rising American talent Jenson Brooksby defeated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1 6-4, while countryman and wild card Jack Sock brushed aside Juan Manuel Cerundolo 6-1 6-1 in little over an hour.

Pedro Martinez made light work of Joao Sousa 6-4 7-5, while Tomas Machec got past Alexei Popyrin 6-3 7-5.

Nick Kyrgios declared he and Thanasi Kokkinakis created "the best atmosphere this tournament's ever seen" as they powered to Australian Open doubles final glory.

But within minutes of the duo sealing their 7-5 6-4 win over fellow Australians Max Purcell and Matt Ebden, Purcell questioned whether the raucous crowds might in fact be a turn-off for tennis fans around the world.

After a victory that Kyrgios ranked as the highlight of his career and Kokkinakis labelled "f****** nuts", the wildcard pair were singing their own praises almost as loudly as the Rod Laver Arena had been roaring them on to victory.

Kyrgios, who will never need to hire a hype man, led the cheerleading, before announcing he would not be playing the French Open and ruling out a doubles reunion with Kokkinakis at Wimbledon. They could pair up again at the US Open, however, and potentially for the ATP Finals at the end of the year.

"The dedication I showed all week and from my team, I'm super proud of myself," Kyrgios said. "I could have not really cared too much after I lost [in singles] to [Daniil] Medvedev, but doing it with 'Kokk' is insane and this ranks one for me.

"I feel like a completely different person. I'm just happy. I've gone about it the right way.

"This is a memory we're never going to forget. We're going to grow old and always remember the time we rolled off the couch and won the Aus Open, honestly. It's crazy. I've won some titles in singles, but this one ranks top for some reason."

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis became the first Australian pair to carry off this title since Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge in 1997.

The great Laver himself endorsed the new champions, sending a message of congratulations on Twitter, suggesting their appeal goes far beyond the young generation.

"I would say we've created probably the best atmosphere this tournament's ever seen, to be brutally honest with you," Kyrgios said.

He claimed that verdict had the support of Robert Barty, the father of women's singles champion Ash Barty.

"Ash's father came to us and said the crowd was the best he's ever seen," said 26-year-old Kyrgios. "Obviously Ash is a hell of a player, but I think the ratings speak for themselves.

"People watch my matches. Everywhere I play around the world, the stadiums are full for that reason. There's a reason why the ratings are the way they are and people are glued to the TV when we play. It speaks for itself really."

Kokkinakis, 25, won a singles title in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open, and is fighting back from injuries that have stifled his progress in the game.

"Nick, I love you brother," Kokkinakis said. "I can honestly say we did not expect to even come close to this.

"It's been a rough couple of years for me personally, but what a month we've had. Coming into the Aussie Open I was already happy and this is a crazy cherry on top.

"Adelaide was number one for me, but this has trumped it. To be a grand slam champion with my boy. We've known each other since we were eight or nine years old and have done some serious things together, had some serious experiences, but this is incredible, we didn't expect this at all."

The crowds at Melbourne Park for Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have been noisy to the point of rowdy at times, with Kyrgios being described as "an absolute k***" by Michael Venus after the New Zealander and German Tim Putz lost to the Special Ks in the quarter-finals. Venus felt the atmosphere was like "a circus" and accused the Australians of stoking it beyond the point of acceptability.

Beaten finalist Purcell said he and Ebden were given a relatively easy ride, and thanked the Australian public for coming out to show their support.

But after an exuberant spectator was asked to leave the stadium late in the final, Purcell also said: "They seem like the naughtiest crowd I've ever played in front of. Even Thanasi and Nick were getting a little angry out there.

"There's a line where you don't want to cross. You don't want people to be thrown out, so if people are doing that they're obviously not doing the right thing and respecting the players.

"I think it was great for ticket sales here, but I'm not sure how it was taken overseas. If you were watching some of Nick and Thanasi's matches earlier in the week, and you were overseas, maybe you get turned off tennis a little bit."

Nick Kyrgios and Thanaki Kokkinakis completed their Melbourne mission as they were crowned Australian Open doubles champions on Rod Laver Arena.

The Special Ks partnership, who have drawn huge crowds and fresh interest to doubles, sealed the title with a 7-5 6-4 win over fellow Australians Max Purcell and Matthew Ebden.

It was approaching midnight on a special day for Australian tennis when Kyrgios and Kokkinakis got over the line, following women's singles queen Ash Barty onto the roll call of this year's champions.

With one break of serve in each set, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis held firm behind their own games as the singles specialists showcased their precocious skills on the doubles court.

Kyrgios served for the win in style, firing two aces in a row before Kokkinakis put away a volley on match point.

The new champions forced the only break of the first set in the 11th game when Ebden volleyed into the net off the return of serve from Kokkinakis, who was then the chief aggressor as he and Kyrgios secured a break in the seventh game of the second set.

Kyrgios has never been beyond the quarter-finals of a singles slam, reaching that stage at Wimbledon as a teenager in 2014 before doing likewise at the 2015 Australian Open.

His redoubtable talent has not been backed up by the trophies many expected him to win, and he will have turned 27 by the time the next major, the French Open, begins in late May.

Together with Kokkinakis, whose own promising career has been blighted by injuries, Kyrgios has thrived this fortnight. And although the prize money in doubles pales against the singles rewards on offer, a first taste of grand slam glory could be a major career spark for this pair.

They were the wildest of wildcards, with Kyrgios criticised by Michael Venus, a New Zealander left in his wake in the quarter-finals, for his showboating style and geeing up of the crowd.

"It felt like a circus out there and not really a tennis match," complained Venus, speaking to New Zealand channel 1News. Any doubles partnership featuring the combustible Kyrgios is likely to be an acquired taste.

This time, though, it felt like a party, with Ebden saying he was "really, really impressed" by Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, and Purcell said it was "hell of fun to watch you guys play".

Australia Day was on Wednesday, but Saturday felt like an extended celebration.

Australia expects as Ash Barty faces Danielle Collins in Saturday's grand slam final at Melbourne Park.

The world number one, from Ipswich, Queensland, will be bidding for her third grand slam singles title but a first at the Australian Open.

The wait for a home champion has been a long one, but it could soon be over.

Chris O'Neil was the last Australian winner of the women's singles, way back in 1978, while the last men's singles champion was Mark Edmondson in 1976.

Australia has hardly been starved of tennis talent over the past 40 years, but for one reason or another, the home slam has been beyond their reach.

Here, Stats Perform remembers the household names who have seen their hopes dashed in Melbourne.

Jelena Dokic

Dokic never came close in Melbourne, truth be told. Which is not to say she lacked the ability, having reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2000 and climbed as high as number four in the WTA rankings two years later. Dokic's career was blighted by a traumatic relationship with her overbearing and violent coach and father, Damir, whom she alleged physically abused her on many occasions. Her best performance at Melbourne Park came against all expectations, at the outset of a tour comeback in 2009 when she reached the quarter-finals, losing out there to Dinara Safina. Dokic, who is now 38 and retired from the tour, has been conducting on-court interviews during this year's Australian Open.

Lleyton Hewitt

'Rusty' won Wimbledon and US Open titles at the peak of his powers, and reached number one in the world at the age of 20. Before Roger Federer came along with different ideas, it seemed Hewitt might rule the roost in the men's game for years to come. He reached one Australian Open final, and in 2005 that was a glorious chance to secure a home major as he faced Russian Marat Safin in the final. Hewitt won the first set, but then Safin took command, winning in four. Incredibly, it would be the last grand slam men's singles final not to feature Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic until the 2014 US Open (Nishikori v Cilic).

Pat Cash

Cash's career peak came at Wimbledon in 1987, when he beat Ivan Lendl to capture the title before famously climbing up to the players' box. At the start of that year he almost won the Australian Open, too, when that tournament was staged on grass at Kooyong, in Melbourne's suburbs. He lost a five-set thriller to Stefan Edberg, another grass-court master, and when the tournament moved to Melbourne Park a year later, shifting to hardcourts, Cash was a finalist once more. Again, he suffered heartbreak in a deciding set, Mats Wilander denying Cash home glory, and he would never play a grand slam final again.

Samantha Stosur

Stosur, who called time on her singles career after a second-round defeat in Melbourne this year, was Australia's most recent women's singles grand slam champion until Barty came along. She triumphed at the 2011 US Open, sensationally beating Serena Williams in the Flushing Meadows final, and got to as high as number four in the world. She also reached the 2010 French Open final, but Stosur was never a factor in the business end of her home major, at least in singles. The fourth round was the furthest she ever went, but it was a different story in doubles, as she won an Australian Open mixed title in 2005, alongside fellow Australian Scott Draper. In the twilight of her career, in 2019, she teamed up with Zhang Shuai to win the women's doubles, a poignant success after so much singles frustration.

Mark Philippoussis

Philippoussis, aka 'Scud', was a US Open runner-up in 1998 and also reached the 2003 Wimbledon final, where he was the sacrificial lamb as Federer scooped the first grand slam title of his career. In Australia, though, just like Stosur, his slam peak was round four, a disappointment considering his talent and weaponry. In 1996, Philippoussis stunned the then world number one Pete Sampras in the third round in Melbourne, only to lose to lowly ranked compatriot and doubles expert Mark Woodforde in his next match. Arguably the most famous story concerning Philippoussis and the Australian Open is the widely reported rumour he was spotted kissing Anna Kournikova in an underground car park at the 2000 tournament. Both denied it. "Just good friends," was Kournikova's verdict.

Pat Rafter

Rafter won back-to-back US Opens in 1997 and 1998, as well as reaching consecutive Wimbledon finals in 2000 and 2001. A semi-final run in Melbourne in 2001, which proved to be the serve-volley master's last year on tour, was Rafter's best performance at his home slam, eventual champion Andre Agassi coming from two sets to one down to deny him a place in the title match.

Nick Kyrgios

All the talent in the world, but Kyrgios appears to be happy enough ploughing a unique furrow though his tennis career. Top five in the shot-making stakes, Kyrgios turns 27 in April and his ability has taken him to just two slam quarter-finals to date, including at the 2015 Australian Open. He was a junior champion at Melbourne Park in 2013, and has also reached the fourth round twice in the seniors. It is up to Kyrgios whether he wishes to make optimum use of his remarkable racket skills or carry on entertaining with virtuoso, but short-lived, singles runs. You wonder whether a Barty triumph could ignite this firecracker of a player.

Nick Kyrgios has often walked a tightrope when it comes to etiquette on a tennis court, but the surprise Australian Open doubles finalist insists: "I'm not creating a circus."

Playing with Thanasi Kokkinakis, Kyrgios has led an Australian charge to the men's doubles final, with compatriots Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell awaiting them in the title match.

It will be an all-Australian final in the men's doubles for the first time since 1980, guaranteeing home champions.

Showman Kyrgios mounted a defence of his brand of tennis after he and Kokkinakis downed Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena.

New Zealander Michael Venus had expressed annoyance at the behaviour of Kyrgios this week, after he and Tim Putz lost out in the quarter-finals to the home pair.

Venus said that match, which Kyrgios and Kokkinakis won in a deciding set, "felt like a circus", while taking direct aim at the conduct of Kyrgios by saying his maturity level was that of a 10-year-old.

Kyrgios, 26, says he can mix top-level tennis with entertainment, rebutting the "circus" accusation.

"I think I played pretty good tennis in the past. I've beaten pretty much every player that's picked up a racket," he told a news conference.

"I've obviously had to play a certain level of tennis. It's not like I'm going out there putting on a clown suit and creating a circus.

"I have also played, won titles, won big titles, I have played the traditional way. I think now I'm able to channel a different fan base. I think it's only positive in my opinion."

At the 2015 US Open, American tennis great John McEnroe questioned the eccentric shot selection of Kyrgios in a first-round loss to Andy Murray, telling ESPN: "You don’t want to be remembered as a clown. You want to be remembered as a player. He thinks he's a vaudeville entertainer."

Kokkinakis firmly backed his 'Special Ks' doubles partner on Thursday, saying critics should look at the attention Kyrgios brings to the sport from beyond its usual viewership.

"I think people have just got to be open," Kokkinakis said. "You're always trying to develop a sport and grow a sport.

"Of course, you've got to keep it within the boundaries. If people are so narrow-minded they can't see this is bringing a lot of fans and a lot of eyes, I think that is their problem honestly."

Kyrgios then addressed Kokkinakis, saying: "I think the quality of tennis was pretty good today, don't you think?"

Kokkinakis agreed. "That is what it is about. It's about having a good product on court that people actually come and enjoy. You can't please everyone," he said.

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis' dream run in the Australian Open men's doubles continued, reaching the final on Thursday.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis stunned third seeds Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in their semi-final on Rod Laver Arena.

The talented duo have beaten four seeded pairs on their way to the decider, where Australians Matt Ebden and Max Purcell await.

For the first time since 1980, it will be an all-Australian final in the men's doubles at the year's opening grand slam.

Dubbed the 'Special Ks', the pair took a tough first-set tie-break before being pulled back after leading the second set 4-1.

But Kyrgios and Kokkinakis sealed their win when the latter delivered a wonderful lob, sparking their celebrations in front of a strong Rod Laver Arena crowd.

Ebden and Purcell upset second seeds Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram 6-3 7-6 (11-9) in the other semi-final.

Michael Venus hit out at Nick Kyrgios after bowing out of the men's doubles at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The Kiwi and Tim Putz were beaten 7-5 3-6 6-3 by Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis in the quarter-finals at a loud Kia Arena.

But Venus was unhappy with Kyrgios, slamming the Australian for his antics.

"There'll always be his supporters and he'll always spin it in a way that helps him, but at the end of the day he's just an absolute k***," he told 1News.

"I think it just speaks for him. His maturity level, it's probably being generous to a 10-year-old to say it's at about that level."

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have embarked on a memorable run to the semi-finals of the men's doubles, with crowds flocking to their matches.

Despite his criticism of Kyrgios, Venus also praised the two-time grand slam singles quarter-finalist's talent.

"He's an unbelievable tennis player, what he does on the tennis court, what he can do out there, his tennis IQ on the court, it is amazing and he's definitely on that side of things one of the best players in the world," he said.

"But from the maturity side of things you see why he's never fulfilled his potential and probably never will."

Nick Kyrgios is hoping to inspire the next generation of tennis stars after taking centre stage at the Australian Open with his run to the men's doubles semi-finals.

The 26-year-old fan favourite and partner Thanasi Kokkinakis downed sixth seeds Tim Puetz and Michael Venus 7-5 3-6 6-3 in Tuesday's quarter-final clash.

The contest was watched by a lively crowd on Kia Arena and overshadowed Rafael Nadal's five-set win over Denis Shapovalov on Rod Laver Arena at the same time.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, who were given a wildcard into the draw after being knocked out of the singles early on, will now face Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.

"I'm not finished – I want to win this f****** thing," Kyrgios declared in his on-court interview. "We know what we do well and it's world-class. 

"That's what we'll do again. I just want to play and give the people of Australia a show and genuinely grow the sport of tennis."

Kyrgios showed his caring side early in the match when handing a racket to a fan in the crowd after accidentally hitting the youngster with one of Kokkinakis' faulted balls.

The Australian public have embraced the pair's deep run in the competition and Kyrgios, often a controversial character, is glad to see so many younger spectators watching on.

"There is no way around it; me and Thanasi are definitely role models to the youth in Australia. We obviously attract that crowd," he said at his post-match news conference.

"I know that over the years I haven't been the best role model, but I was just learning how to deal with everything. 

"I think now at 26 I have matured, and I've definitely realised that a lot of young kids and people, even people that are low on confidence, they do look towards us.

"We are not special people. We're normal humans that you might see walking in Australia, and we are now in the semi-finals of a grand slam.

"I feel like I think we are just relatable. I think that's what's the best thing about it. They go out and get behind their mates. Most of the guys in the crowd are our mates.

"You've got Roger Federer and these guys that are just once-a-generation athletes. I can't be like that. We're not like that. I feel it has to be people that are a bit more relatable."

The Aussie pair's next opponents Granollers and Zeballos have won six tour-level titles as a team, but have never gone all the way at a grand slam.

Kokkinakis is hoping to have similar backing from the expectant home fans on Thursday.

Asked about the support he and his doubles partner have received so far, Kokkinakis said: "The rowdier the better. Sink p*** and come here.

"The next guys are experienced veterans, but we're going to keep playing how we play, have fun and enjoy the crowd."

Daniil Medvedev did not hold back following his victory over Nick Kyrgios as he labelled spectators who jeered him during the second-round match of having "a low IQ".

The world number two continued his quest for a second grand slam crown, and a first at the Australian Open, with a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 4-6 6-2 win over Kyrgios on Thursday.

Medvedev, who is the highest-seeded player at Melbourne Park following Novak Djokovic's withdrawal, prevailed against the home favourite in just under three hours.

He played the role of pantomime villain in front of a partisan crowd fully behind Kyrgios, which the Russian took exception to after sealing a place in the third round.

Medvedev, who will take on Botic van de Zandschulp for a place in the last 16, was particularly unhappy with those who made noise between his serves at Rod Laver Arena.

"It's a little bit disappointing," he told Eurosport. "I guess it's normal, everyone experiences it, especially when you play a home favourite and not just any home favourite, but Nick.

"A few moments on my serve, where he managed to make some good returns, and then break point on second serve and people are cheering like you've made a double-fault.

"That's just disappointing. It's not everybody who's doing it, but those who are doing it probably have a low IQ.

"When you get booed between first and second serves you have to stay calm."

The crowd interrupted the interview, at which point on-court reporter and two-time Australian Open winner Jim Courier attempted to play peacemaker.

Courier pointed out that the noisy crowd were shouting 'siuu' in homage to Cristiano Ronaldo's now-trademark celebration.

"Guys I can't hear him, please show some respect for Jim Courier, he won here guys," Medvedev said.

"Let him speak guys. If you respect somebody, at least respect Jim Courier. I cannot hear him guys."

Kyrgios described the 'siuu' chants as like "being in a zoo" after his first-round match, while Andy Murray admitted to being "irritated" by the persistent chanting.

"What I'm saying is that between first and second serves is not easy," Medvedev added. "I remember the games I lost on the break points it was the case and it's tough to play."

Further embracing his role as public enemy number one after eliminating Kyrgios, Medvedev signed the letters "SIUUUU" in the camera lens before exiting the court.

After winning the US Open, Medvedev is aiming to become the first man in the Open Era to follow up his maiden grand slam title with another in his next major appearance.

Last-year's beaten finalist saw off Henri Laaksonen in straight sets in round one and is now the strong favourite to advance past world number 57 Van de Zandschulp.

Medvedev hit 31 aces against Kyrgios – the highest tally in a single grand slam main draw match – en route to reaching the third round in Melbourne for a fourth straight time.

Reflecting on his impressive win, Medvedev said: "Five years ago I probably would break two racquets, just get angry, start shouting at my box for nothing.

"And it probably would not help me win the match. I could win some [matches] like this, but you cannot win grand slams like this.

"So it makes me really happy because I can still have some tantrums, we all know it, but I've been working on myself. 

"I've been working pretty hard last couple of years and I’m trying to mature as a tennis player and a person.

"The match like tonight, and a few last year, show that I'm capable of being really strong mentally no matter what happens on the court and I'm really happy about that."

Nick Kyrgios is box office whenever he plays – and the Australian Open gets a first-week gift in the form of a second-round blockbuster against Daniil Medvedev.

Kyrgios still managed to bring John Cain Arena to life even during a relatively straightforward 6-4 6-4 6-3 win over Liam Broady on Tuesday.

The Australian, who has dropped to 115th in the rankings after not playing since last year's US Open, is arguably the must-watch player in the men's draw.

Anything can happen when Kyrgios is in action. For all the frustrations about a thus far unfulfilled talent, Kyrgios – a two-time grand slam quarter-finalist – is box office.

On Thursday he faces the highest ranked player in the men's draw, last year's US Open champion Medvedev, in what shapes as being a thrilling contest.

Kyrgios has won both of his previous meetings with the Russian second seed, who is among the favourites to win the title at Melbourne Park.

With Roger Federer absent and Novak Djokovic having been deported from Australia, tournament officials have been gifted a contest that belongs in the second week.

All eyes will be on Thursday's schedule, with Kyrgios seemingly likely to miss out on playing on his preferred court – John Cain Arena – in a match that undoubtedly belongs on Rod Laver Arena.

"I mean, obviously either way it's going to be a hell of an experience for me. He's probably the best player in the world at the moment. So I'm pretty excited, I'm excited for that moment. That's why I play the game," Kyrgios said after beating Broady.

"I feel like those matches still excite me, to go out there and play the best in the world. That was always something I wanted to prove to people that someone like me could do, win those matches. I'm not going to go into it with a lot of expectation. I'm going to go out there, have some fun, play my game. I have a pretty set-in-stone game plan of what I need to do to have success.

"As I said, he's probably the best player in the world, he does everything extremely well. He's a hard worker, ticks all the boxes. I'm not going to even think about that now. To play it on John Cain would be – I'm just going to call it the Kyrgios Court – would be fun."

Kyrgios and Medvedev played twice in 2019, the Australian winning two tie-breaks in their most recent meeting in the final in Washington in August of that year.

 

Medvedev was a top-10 player then, but it would be later in that year that the Russian would truly make an impact, edged by Rafael Nadal in the US Open final.

He went 20-3 at majors last year, winning the title at Flushing Meadows, reaching the final in Melbourne and the French Open quarter-finals.

When he met Kyrgios in Washington, Medvedev had won four ATP titles. He now has 13 to his name.

"Yeah, I just became a different player in terms of ranking and titles. It gives you experience. That's where you can try to win matches which you have lost before, opponents which you have lost before," Medvedev said following his opening-round win against Henri Laaksonen.

"I think there are still some guys on tour who I haven't beat. So can stay like this. I think our last match was so long ago and we are both so different and a different momentum of our careers that it's really tough to count it. As I say, win or lose, I don't think these two matches gonna count into this one, so yeah."

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