Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are taking the Australian Open by storm

    Nick Kyrgios (left) and Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia during their men's doubles quarterfinal match against Tim Puetz of Germany and Michael Venus of New Zealand on day 9 of the Australian Open, at Melbourne Park, in Melbourne, Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

    (CNN)Had you taken a stroll past the Kia Arena in Melbourne this week, you could have been forgiven for assuming that a rock and roll festival was taking place.

    If somebody then corrected you and said that the din was actually coming from a singles tennis match at the Australian Open you might have thought perhaps Ashleigh Barty or Rafa Nadal were playing.
    In fact, the racket was coming from an Australian Open men's doubles quarterfinal. The headline act? 'Special K,' otherwise known as Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
      The Australian wildcard duo have whipped fans into a frenzy throughout their unlikely journey into the semifinals of their home grand slam, peaking with a raucous 7-5 3-6 6-3 quarterfinal victory over Tim Puetz and Michael Venus at a packed Kia Arena on Tuesday.
        Hype men to the crowd, chest bumps, Cristiano Ronaldo tribute acts -- to highlight the tennis alone would not do justice to the spectacle the Australian pair have provided.
        Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have brought a new level of showmanship to the Australian Open doubles competition.
        Arguably doubles has an awkward place in the tennis world -- with singles events consistently taking precedence in both prize money and coverage -- which makes the attention and adulation that the duo are garnering all the more impressive.
        Yet for Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, their relationship with the crowd is a symbiotic one, and forms the crux of their motivation to perform.
          "This Australian Open, honestly for us, it's more about the people -- playing for them is more important than our doubles success, Kyrgios said.
          "We haven't drawn up any goals of what we wanna achieve this year in doubles, I just wanna play and give the people of Australia and the Australian Open a show and genuinely try and grow the sport of tennis.
          "That's why I'm playing, and I know Thanasi is just enjoying it -- this is the most fun we've ever had on the court.
          "The thrill for us is honestly walking out there. This sounds stupid but we worry what happens in the match after," Kokkinakis added.
          "Seeing the support we've got and then the crowd going nuts every time we go out there and how much they're enjoying it, that gets us going and gets us motivated to do better for them."
          Kyrgios (bottom C) gives a racket to a boy he had hit with a tennis ball.