Special Ks show way

DESPITE the sweltering conditions, tennis fans have had plenty to be excited about during the first week of the Australian Open.

Teenagers have exciting future on tennis court

The audacious play of Australian teenagers Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkianakis to reach the second round kept fans enthralled, those courtside or in the loungeroom.

At 18 and 17, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have played with skill beyond their years.

On Thursday night, Kyrgios showed he will be a player to watch for many summers in a five-set showdown with the Open's 28th seed, French star Benoit Paire.

After winning the first two sets, Kyrgios was within two games of victory.

At times the noise in Margaret Court Arena was more akin to a soccer or AFL match than tennis.

As Paire started to hit more winners, Kyrgios battled fatigue and severe cramping.

At times the noise in Margaret Court Arena was more akin to a soccer match

The kid from Canberra kept fighting on, but Paire's experience and skill proved too much.

Kokkinakis stepped on to Rod Laver Arena for a second-round showdown with world No.1, Spanish ace Rafael Nadal.

Although the Spaniard's powerful forehand drive won many points, Kokkinakis had his moments in the biggest match of his career.

It was not so long ago the players dubbed Special K were driving, volleying, serving and smashing at the Bendigo Bank tennis complex in Nolan Street.

It was in early November, 2012 that Kyrgios, pictured playing in Bendigo, advanced to the quarter-finals at the William Loud Bendigo International.

Then ranked No.4 in world juniors, Kyrgios started his Bendigo campaign with a 6-3 6-7 6-4 victory against reigning champion and No.2 seed Matt Reid.

The next round and the feisty right-hander from Canberra beat Daniel Ferretti, 6-3 6-1.


The run by Kyrgios was ended by No.5 seed Ben Mitchell, 6-2 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

Mitchell went on to be eventual runner-up to the International's top seed John Millman.

A year ago, Kyrgios won the boys' singles crown at the Australian Open.

He joined some of the game's biggest names - Stefan Edberg, Andy Roddick, Thomas Enqvist, Gael Monfils- on the honour board.

Wind back six years ago and Bernard Tomic was the Australian Open boys' champion.

At the time there was plenty of excitement about Tomic's skill and what he could achieve in the game.

Tomic has not quite lived up to the hype, just yet.

A leg injury forced him to put the racquet down after the first set in the opening round clash with Nadal.

Reaction was decidely mixed.

The play by the Special Ks and Casey Dellacqua's run to the fourth round are the "good news" stories from the Open.

Get set for more dramatic moments from the Australian Open. 

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