Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis claim Australian Open men's doubles title for another home-country win

Wild celebrations as Kyrgios and Kokkinakis win Australian Open men's doubles (0:58)

Home players and childhood friends Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis win the men's doubles final at the Australian Open. (0:58)

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis entered on a wild card and were dubbed the Special Ks on their wild ride to the men's doubles title at the Australian Open.

With a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Matt Ebden and Max Purcell on Saturday, the longtime friends became the first homegrown pairing to win the men's doubles title in Australia since Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, aka the Woodies, in 1997.

And this was only their fourth Grand Slam event as a team.

The pair, who won the Wimbledon boys' doubles title nearly nine years ago, never faced a break point in a dominant performance in a final that started at Rod Laver Arena after Ash Barty's similarly drought-breaking women's singles title.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis conceded only two sets in six matches on a run to the title that included wins over the No. 1 and No. 3 teams.

"What a week," Kokkinakis said. "I can honestly say we didn't expect to come even close to this. This is a crazy cherry on the top."

Kyrgios added: "I wouldn't have wanted to do this with anyone else."

He gave thanks to his support team, saying, "I battled COVID a week out from the Open, and I wouldn't be here without you."

The Special Ks are the first all-Australian team to win a Grand Slam men's doubles title since Woodforde and Woodbridge won their 11th together at Wimbledon in 2000. Woodbridge and Woodforde, both working as TV commentators, presented the trophy to the winners.

Kokkinakis, who won his first ATP singles title at Adelaide earlier this month, is still making his way back onto the tour after several seasons interrupted by injuries and illness.

Kyrgios has a career-high singles ranking of No. 13 and won six ATP titles, all on hard courts, but the 26-year-old hasn't fulfilled the potential he showed by reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2014 and at the Australian Open the next year.

His style of play and attitude on and off the court have divided opinion. His first Grand Slam title, albeit in doubles, could be a sign of things to come.

The men's doubles competition attracted more local attention than usual, with Kyrgios and Kokkinakis packing a smaller, 5,000-seat outside stadium and getting boisterous support in earlier rounds before having to shift into the all-ticketed main arena for the semis and final.

Given the popularity of the Kyrgios-Kokkinakis team, polite applause initially greeted winners from the rackets of Ebden and Purcell. But the less flamboyant pair gradually gained more support from fans who stayed to watch after the women's singles final.

It seemed the opening set was headed for a tiebreaker, with not even a break point until the 11th game on Ebden's serve.

Ebden fended off three break points before a dipping Kokkinakis forehand service return forced a backhand volley error for the crucial breakthrough. Kokkinakis followed up by not conceding a point as he served out the set.

The second set followed a similar pattern.

At the insistence of all players, a spectator, who had yelled "out" as Purcell served in the ninth game, was removed by security. The three-minute incident only delayed the inevitable as Kyrgios stepped up to clinch victory in the next game.

It was the first all-Australian men's doubles final at the Australian Open since 1980, when Mark Edmondson and Kim Warwick beat Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee.

In another final Saturday, top-seeded Bruno Kuzuhara of the United States added the Australian Open junior singles title to his earlier doubles crown in incredible circumstances at Melbourne Park.

Kuzuhara beat fourth-seeded Jakub Mensik 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 7-5 in a match that lasted 3 hours, 43 minutes and ended with the Czech player having serious cramping that barely allowed him to continue serving.

Mensik fell to the court several times with cramps, finished with a pair of double faults and had to be taken off Rod Laver Arena in a wheelchair.

Kuzuhara has Japanese heritage, was born in Brazil and moved to the U.S. with his parents when he was an infant.

"First of all, it's an unfortunate way to win it," the 17-year-old said during the trophy presentation. "It was a great fight. We pushed each other right to the end."

Florida-based Kuzuhara won the junior boys' doubles title with Coleman Wong of Hong Kong. They beat American Alex Michelsen and Adolfo Daniel Vallejo of Paraguay 6-3, 7-6 (3).