Jason Kubler wasn’t sure if he would be playing doubles at this year’s Australian Open, but he is now thankful that Rinky Hijikata asked to play with the 29-year-old Queenslander.
The Australian duo have surprised themselves and the tennis world by claiming the men’s doubles title.
They defeated Poland’s world no. 36 Jan Zielinski and Monaco’s world no. 40 Hugo Nys in 83 minutes.
“I don’t know what to say,” Kubler said. “Rinky and I definitely didn’t think this was happening two weeks ago, so it’s a bit of a pleasant surprise.”
The 6-4, 7-6(4) victory continues the golden run for Australian men in doubles. It started last year at the Australian Open when Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis won the title.
Matt Ebden and Max Purcell then won the Wimbledon title and now it is Hijikata and Kubler holding the winner’s trophy.
The Australians got off to a perfect start, breaking Zielinski to love in the third game. From there they were never troubled on serve and took the first set when Kubler held to love in the tenth game.
The second set went to the tiebreaker after neither team could get a break.
Hijikata and Kubler got an early mini-break only to concede that before seeing the score at 4-4.
From there the Australians won the next 3 points, including a dramatic final point to wrap up the championship.
“I couldn’t have ever imagined this,” Hijikata said. “It’s just unreal.”
The pairing defeated the no. 6 seeds, the no. 1 seeds and the no. 8 seeds enroute to the final.