LIVE — Seven months after the birth of ‘Special K’ in a stunning Australian Open doubles triumph, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis open their US Open singles campaigns on Tuesday.
They do so in the same match.
The childhood friends and formidable doubles duo will face off in the first round at Flushing Meadows from 10.15am (AEST).
Follow all the action in our live blog below!
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No. 23 seed Kyrgios and Kokkinakis haven’t faced off in a singles match in more than eight years, and have only played each other twice with the former winning both encounters.
Kokkinakis said that he is expecting the highly-anticipated match to turn into a “circus”, while it will be “weird” to battle against his friend.
“He loves to kind of live in the chaos a bit when it comes to matches. He turns it into a bit of a circus around him and he’s just so comfortable with that,” Kokkinakis told AAP.
“But he’s got the game, obviously, to back it up. It’s not just that, so it will be awkward.”
He added: “It will be weird. I don’t know — I honestly couldn’t say how it’s going to play out.”
Remarkably, the match between two Australians will take place on centre court of the Grand Slam’s opening night — a clear sign of the on-court entertainment value Kyrgios brings.
Todd Woodbridge said the match going ahead on Arthur Ashe Arena is unprecedented.
“Two Aussies opening up the US Open, that is unheard of,” Woodbridge said on the Today show.
“What is fascinating about this match is that it’s actually been Thanasi, I think, that has helped Nick get his form back going this season.
“Nick’s form has been sensational this season, as we know. He’s had a good run in the US, having won in Washington.
“You expect Nick to win between these two but it’s going to be a tough match with good mates, because Nick is going to have to control his emotions, and that’s always a challenge, as we know.”