Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler advance to mens doubles round of 16


The Australian pair of Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler have capped off night six with a superb win, coming from a set down to upset the sixth seeded team of Lloyd Glasspool and Harrio Heliovaara 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.

“Honestly, the biggest turning point was the energy – I felt the crowd was willing to give the energy and we took it. We were going crazy in that match, every point, you guys were unbelievable,” Kubler said on court afterwards.

The pair struggled early on but turned it around quick smart, with Hijikata taking the blame for the early hole they fell into.

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“I wasn’t making many returns at the start; I missed a few smashes and easy volleys, so I was probably making his life a bit tough out there,” he said.

“I decided to start hitting a few in and help him out a bit, and Kubes did the rest.”

Wally Masur asked who the team’s leader was – the response from Hijikata?

“Probably just as clueless as one another.”

To illustrate that point, Kubler was asked his thoughts on their next opponents – the team of Bosnia’s Tomislav Brkic and Ecuador’s Gonzalo Escobar.

“We didn’t even know who were we playing,” he said as the crowd laughed.

“You know what they say, one match at a time right? We were so focused on this one, we didn’t see the next one. I don’t know too much but hopefully we can bring the energy, you guys can bring the energy, and we can have another match like this.”

Watch the Australian Open live and free on the Nine Network: Channel 9, 9Gem and 9NOW.

A win in the round of 16 could potentially see the Aussies face the number one seeded team of Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, who saw off the Tsitsipas brothers in a third set super-tiebreak in the second round earlier on day six.

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