Australian Open: Hijikata, Kubler clinch men’s doubles title

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MELBOURNE: Australian wild card duo of Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler were crowned the men’s doubles champions at the ongoing Australian Open after they defeated Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski in the summit clash to capture their first ever Grand Slam title on Sunday.

The Aussies warded off the Monaco-Polish duo by 6-4, 7-6 (4) to capture the silverware.

The Aussie duo had the advantage of a highly vocal and supportive local crowd, which cheered every move of theirs.

Hijikata and Kubler were hammering returns and had a strong serve games. They won 88 per cent of their points behind their first delivery on their road towards becoming the fifth unseeded team to win the Australian Open trophy.

“I have got to thank Rinky,” Kubler said during the trophy ceremony as quoted by ATP.

“He was the reason we teamed for this tournament. I was not sure and then Rinky asked me and I said yeah and decided to play. Two weeks later and we have this trophy, so a big thank you to Rinky,” added Kubler.

“I could never have imagined this,” Hijikata said. “I am glad you said yes Kubs to playing with me a few months ago. It is just unreal. Thank you so much mate, it has been unreal.”

The Aussie duo sealed the match in 85 minutes. Just like Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios, who won the title as wild cards, they repeated their heroics. They became the third Aussie team to capture the men’s doubles trophy since last January, with Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell having won at Wimbledon.

They had caused a lot of upsets in the tournament, defeating sixth seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski and eighth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.

In the final, they earned a highly-decisive break of the first set in the third game to gain control. They held their nerves in second-set tie-break to clinch the title.

“Thank you to all the fans, wow,” Kubler said. “I have never had a summer like this and with you guys, you have made it so special. I have played on a lot of big courts and you being out here with me makes me feel so comfortable. It feels like 1000 against two when I am out here.”

Nys and Zielinski were also competing in their first major final this time. (ANI)

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