Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have grabbed the limelight but they might not be the only locals in this year’s Australian Open doubles final.
The ‘Special Ks’ have drawn huge crowds and attracted serious attention for their wild and entertaining play during their giant-killing run at Melbourne Park.
But fellow Australians Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell have been quietly going about their business to also reach the semi-finals.
If results go their way, it would be the first all-Aussie men’s doubles final at the Australian Open since 1980 when Mark Edmondson and Kim Warwick defeated Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis’ last-four match against third seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos has been upgraded to Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.
Ebden and Purcell will be up on Margaret Court Arena against last year’s runners-up Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury
“I was joking with Maxie (Purcell) before, awesome if we could play Aussies in the final,” Ebden said.
“We got to get there first – so do they.
“They’re great players, too.
“If we end up all Aussies in the final, of course that would be amazing.
“I’ve seen snippets of Nick and Thanasi playing.
“We know some of the guys they’ve been playing.
“Had a word with them here or there about what they should do.
“They’ve obviously got big serves, big games.
“I like the way they’ve been using the crowd to their advantage.”
While Kyrgios is the most outspoken player on tour, Purcell can also let fly when he wants to.
The 23-year-old hit out at Davis Cup captain and Australian tennis great Lleyton Hewitt after failing to receive a singles wildcard for this year’s Open.
“I’ve never been one of Lleyton’s boys, so in the back of my mind I’m always like ‘I’m probably not going to get one’,” Purcell said after failing to qualify.