Australians Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have captured the boys’ doubles title at Wimbledon with a dominant victory over Enzo Couacaud and Stefano Napolitano.
The 6-2, 6-3 victory sees Kyrgios defend his junior doubles title at the All England Club – he won in 2012 with compatriot Andrew Harris – and hands Kokkinakis his first ever junior Grand Slam title.
The Aussies were a dominant force out on No.3 Court, slamming powerful serves, forcing the French-Italian duo back in the court with their heavy groundstrokes, and blanketing the net with their imposing wing-span. “We’re both pretty tall, so serving’s the key for us in doubles,” Kyrgios commented after the match.
“We’ve got pretty good hands and returns as well. If our heads are in the right space on the day, we can play some serious doubles out there and I thought today we did that … we’ve got good support around us and we’re good friends, so we’re never going to get angry at each other.”
It was their superiority at net that gave the Australians the early advantage – Kokkinakis picked off a reflex volley that forced an error and handed them a service break for a 4-2 lead.
After consolidating the break with a commanding service hold in the seventh game, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis then threaded groundstroke winners up the line on consecutive points to bring up set point in the eighth game.
When Napolitano erred into the net, they’d pocketed the opening set.
Kokkinakis provided some deft touch for the Aussie pair through lobs and lob volleys, confusing Couacaud and Napolitano on several occasions and extracting errors. Kyrgios, meanwhile, brought the power, smashing an overhead winner to help him and his partner break for a 3-1 lead in the second set.
When Kokkinakis volleyed yet another winner to hold his serve for 4-1, the result was almost beyond doubt. They certainly felt confident, heading to their courtside chairs relaxed and sharing a joke at the change of ends.
Their confidence shone through as the set progressed. Although Couacaud held serve for his team to force the Australians to serve for the title, they made no mistake – Kyrgios clubbed a pair of aces on the final two points to seal victory.
It was Kyrgios’s last-ever junior event before he focuses solely on competing in senior-level tournaments, and he had wanted to go out on a high. “It’s obviously a once-in-a-lifetime experience playing at Wimbledon and to be in a final of any tournament is a great opportunity to go out there and win it,” he said.
“I thought we came out with great energy at the start – we were really positive to each other. We knew if we played our best doubles – serving well, volleying well, being aggressive and coming in … I thought we did that well today, and the result showed.”
20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.
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