Australian doubles partners Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have been drawn against each other in the first round of the U.S. Open. The pair known as the ‘Special K’s’ when they play together as a doubles team, are part of a tough quarter, which also features Russia’s No 1 seed and defending champion Daniil Medvedev.
The Australian Open winning duo, who will be pursuing a third title for the year in the men’s doubles category, have never played against each other on the main draw, though Kyrgios did win their two lower-level encounters when they were younger.
In January, following their Australian Open doubles win, Kokkinakis said, “to be a Grand Slam champion with my boy, we have known each other since we were eight, nine years old, done some serious things together, have had some serious experiences, but this is incredible.”
After his run to the Wimbledon final, no. 23 seed Kyrgios is one of the favorites for the title as he also won in the Citi Open earlier in the month in Washington, DC.
If he beats Kokkinakis, he will likely come against French left-hander Ugo Humbert in the second round, and Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, the no. 16 seed in the third, before a possible match with Medvedev.
Due to Novak Djokovic’s absence this year, who announced the news less than two hours before the draw was revealed, the whole men’s field has their chances lifted as the Serbian champion had been crowned winner Wimbledon back in July.