Kokkinakis/Kyrgios Flick The Switch! Aussies Seal Comeback Win In Turin
Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios pulled off a stunning Match Tie-break comeback against Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek on Wednesday to keep their Nitto ATP Finals semi-final hopes alive.
After a slow start in the Green Group clash, the eighth seeds fed off the energy of an increasingly raucous Pala Alpitour crowd as they rallied from 1/5 in the Match Tie-break to clinch a 3-6, 6-3, 10-6 win at the prestigious season finale.
“I was thinking to myself, ‘If we lose today, we [would be] out of the whole event, so I am going to go out and there and do what I can do’,” Kyrgios said. “We are the pair that is able to do that pretty much every time we play, so why don’t we use that to our advantage. The crowd was amazing and they got us over the line.”
As they built momentum towards the end of the 81-minute encounter, Kokkinakis and Kyrgios revelled in the noise provided by the fans inside the Pala Alpitour. The pair won nine of the final 10 points to cap a stunning win in which they saved four of five break points.
After Dodig and Krajicek broke Kyrgios’ serve in the second game of the match, the Croatian-American pair were clinical in sealing the first set. It was a double fault from Krajicek at 4-5, 40/30 that proved pivotal in the second, as Kyrgios fired a classy forehand pass on the subsequent deuce deciding point to force what proved to be a thrilling Match Tie-break.
The win was crucial for Kokkinakis and Kyrgios’ chances of reaching the semi-finals on tournament debut in Turin. The pair now holds a 1-1 record in Green Group and will meet Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic on Friday in their final round-robin match.