Nys/Zielinski Channel Bryan Brothers For Australian Open SF Win
After losing the second set in Thursday's Australian Open doubles semi-finals, Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski drew inspiration from six-time Melbourne champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. The Monegasque/Polish pairing then powered through the deciding set in a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 win against Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin, advancing to what will be a maiden major final for both men.
"Our energy came a little bit down [in the second set] and I told Jan, the beginning of the third set we have to come back like Bryan/Bryan energy, from the first point," Nys said in an on-court interview.
"I'm really happy we did it because it actually made the difference. Even though it's the first semi-final for us, we managed to bring that big energy in the third set. I'm really proud of the team."
FIRST. GRAND. SLAM. FINAL.— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 26, 2023
🇲🇨 @HugoNys/@zielaczekk 🇵🇱 hold off Chardy/Martin 6-3 5-7 6-2 for the biggest win of their careers!@wwos • @espn • @eurosport • @wowowtennis • #AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/b7HK2QzdUW
The unseeded duo lost serve for the only time in the final game of the second set, but quickly made amends by building a 4-0 lead in the deciding set. They finished the match with 14 aces and an 89 per cent win rate on first serve in Rod Laver Arena.
"It's really incredible," Zielinski said of the pair's run to the title match. "We basically started playing last year in March, just wanted to try it out. The first tournament we played was a Challenger 80, so we came a long way from there. I'm super happy to make it to the final of our first Australian Open together."
The pair will seek its second tour-level title after winning the Metz trophy last season and reaching the US Open quarter-finals. Their opponents in the final will be Australian wild cards Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler, whose chest-bump celebration after match point was also an apparent nod to the Bryan brothers.
The wildcards have sealed the upset 💪 And what a place to do it! 👏— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 26, 2023
Rod Laver Arena erupts and so do the Australian pairing 💙
Hijikata and Kubler win it 6-4 6-2. They're off to the final!#AO2023 • #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/BGRvO3bRp0
With the backing of the Laver crowd, Hijikata/Kubler upset eighth seeds Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-2 as they continued their dream run. It was the second straight match in which they did not drop serve.
The Aussies have knocked off three Top 10 seeds in the tournament, including top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski in the quarter-finals, as they bid to keep the AO doubles trophy in Australian hands following the 2022 triumph of another pair of wild cards: Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios.