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Australian juniors into semis at Open
John Salvado
15:52 AEST Thu Jan 24 2013

Rising star Thanasi Kokkinakis has gained sweet revenge for Australia's loss to Italy in last year's junior Davis Cup final by sending No.2 seed Gianluigi Quinzi tumbling out of the boys' singles at the Australian Open.

Kokkinakis and his close friend Nick Kyrgios are now only one step away from setting up an All-Australian junior final at Melbourne Park after the No.3 seed despatched South African Wayne Montgomery 6-1 6-1 in the quarter-finals.

Kokkinakis, 16, had to work much harder before beating Quinzi for the first time in three attempts 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 8-6.

"We are pretty close to each other, pretty competitive," said Kokkinakis.

"To get him in the Australian Open quarters was a really good feeling for me.

"A lot of people think he's the best in the world for his age and he has the ATP and junior ranking for it.

"It was a good win for me. I wanted it and I dug deep."

Kokkinakis's first match against Quinzi four years ago ended in a drubbing for the Australian.

Their second encounter - in the 2012 junior Davis Cup decider in Barcelona - was much closer, with the Italian winning in three tight sets.

But Kokkinakis finally got home on Thursday in a gruelling encounter lasting two hours and 26 minutes as both players struggled with their serve in the deciding set on a very hot day in Melbourne.

His semi-final opponent on Friday will be No.11 seed Borna Coric from Croatia.

Kyrgios had a much easier time of it in his quarter-final, beating the seventh-seeded Montgomery for the second time in as many weeks.

"I knew I was going to have to play a lot of balls today because he doesn't really miss," said Kyrgios.

"It was a very sound performance and I take a lot of confidence out of it.

"I played really well today so I'm guessing tomorrow is going to be even better.

"Hopefully I can take it to the final as well."

The former junior basketball star has avoided a semi-final with top seed Nikola Milojevic from Serbia, who was upset in three sets by Italy's Filippo Baldi on Thursday.

Baldi was the other singles player in Italy's victorious junior Davis Cup team last year.