Tennis

Atlanta | De Minaur and the ‘Special Ks’ sweep titles

Alex De Minaur won his first title in over a year and sixth overall while his ‘Special K’ compatriots, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios claimed the doubles crown as the Aussies made a clean sweep of the Atlanta Open titles in Georgia.

It was great to get another title under my name. It’s my sixth title. It feels good. Not a lot of people have been able to do that, so I feel great, I feel great about my game. I’ve put a lot of work in, so it’s great to see the hard work being rewarded. Alex de Minaur

The third seeded De Minaur, the world No.30, took 90-minutes to take out the local hope, Jenson Brooksby 6-3 6-3 while the unseeded Special Ks, the Australian Open doubles champions, first battled past Americans Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock in the semi-finals and then compatriots Jason Kubler and John Peers 7-6(4) 7-5 to claim the doubles crown.

For De Minaur, 23, who had lifted the Atlanta trophy three years ago, it was a major triumph for he had not won a title for over a year.

“It was great to get another title under my name. It’s my sixth title. It feels good. Not a lot of people have been able to do that, so I feel great,” De Minaur said. “I feel great about my game. I’ve put a lot of work in, so it’s great to see the hard work being rewarded.”

His last overall triumph had been at Eastbourne last year and on this occasion, he produced another steady performance based on an improved serve and heavier shots to take advantage of an underperforming Brooksby in the overwhelming Georgia heat which left – on occasions following lengthy rallies – players gasping for breath.

“I knew coming in it [would be] a very tactical, chess-like match that we were going to both play. I feel like we are both tricky players in that sense and we adapt very well,” said De Minaur who is known as ‘The Demon’ by his fellow players. “So a lot of tactics going both ways and I’m happy I was able to execute my game plan and get the win today.”

He also acknowledged the crowd for making him feel at home.

“I’d like to thank the crowd. You guys were amazing. I’m not a local, but you guys sure made me feel like one, so really appreciate the support.”

Alex de Minaur shares the spotlight with Jenson Brooksby

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Brooksby, 21, who upset 6-time champion John Isner in the quarter finals and was appearing in his first Tour title match, recovered from a break down in the second set only to immediately flag as the match reached its final stages.

“I was disappointed with my performance out there today, but you’ve got to be able to think long term and just try to see how consistently I can reproduce my focus and those results,” Brooksby said. “I just need to learn from that one and keep staying in the present.”

In the doubles Kokkinakis and Kyrgios won both the semis and final in the space of seven hours.

“Obviously Atlanta is a special place. Won the singles title here [in 2016] and now the doubles. Crowd’s amazing and it was a new experience playing two matches in one day as well for a title,” Kyrgios said who had withdrawn from the singles citing a bad knee.

“Me and Kokky were pretty resilient and obviously no singles this week, but confidence is at an all-time high in doubles.”

Kokkinakis added: “Stoked to have won the Atlanta doubles title with Nick. It’s always a pleasure playing with him. Second title for the year and I think we’re getting better. It’s been a great week here, a good way to start off the [American] summer in Atlanta for the US Open and hopefully we can keep it rolling.”

It was the first all-Australian doubles final on the Tour since Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde defeated Wayne Arthurs and Sandon Stolle for the Hamburg title in 2000 and the first time since 2014 that the Aussies made a clean sweep in Bogota with Bernard Tomic winning the singles and Sam Growth partnering Chris Guccione claiming the doubles.

Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios enjoy the moment

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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