Nick Kyrgios is one of the few players on the ATP circuit who can boast positive numbers for Novak Djokovic. The Australian won both games in 2017 against the 20-time Grand Slam winner: 2-0. He did not even lose a set against the Serbian.
As if that wasn’t enough to cause some (sporting) discontent in Djokovic, Kyrgios blew up their rivalry with some fervent statements.
When Djokovic staged an exhibition tournament during the coronavirus pandemic – after which several players tested positive – Kyrgios called the Serbian “bone bone”.
Djokovic did not react for long. He was quick to explain that he “disrespected” the Australian off the field.
He didn’t impress Kyrios much. The Australian replied: “Djokovic wants to be Federer so bad, he’s obsessed with getting recognition.”
It’s clear: Kyrgios and Djokovic couldn’t get through the same door. So it was the biggest surprise when Kyrgios jumped out of all people at Djokovic’s hack during the Australian Open’s smear campaign earlier this year.
Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, was not allowed to enter Melbourne for its first major tournament in 2022. Kyrgios came with a statement of support.
“The way we are now dealing with the whole situation around Djokovic is just wrong, very wrong. In the end, our great hero is only human and should be treated well,” Kyrgios said.
The beginning of an unexpected friendship.
Kyrgios and Djokovic have managed to get along since the Australian Open. Sometimes they even text each other. “We have a little friendship now, which is strange,” Kyrgios said before the Wimbledon final.
“Everyone knows there was little friendship, but during the Australian Open I gained his respect. Not on the tennis court, but during crises.”
When tennis journalist Sasa Osmo wrote about mutual respect on Twitter, Kyrgios couldn’t hold back. “Does that mean we are friends now, Novak,” the Australian wrote on Instagram.
The Serbs’ answer came quickly. “If you invite me for a drink or a snack, I will accept it,” Djokovic wrote. “Note: Tomorrow’s winner is treated.”
Will they keep him civilized in the final on London turf tomorrow?
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