Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic Nick Kyrgios feud, don’t have much respect for him, comments, tennis news, tool
Novak Djokovic says he doesn’t “have much respect” for Nick Kyrgios, after the Aussie called the world No.1 a “tool” last month.
The Serbian was criticised by many in the tennis community after a list of his requests for players in pre-Australian Open quarantine was revealed in January.
Among those was Kyrgios, who tweeted simply “Djokovic is a tool”.
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Ahead of the season’s first grand slam, Djokovic was asked about Kyrgios’ on and off-court antics – and he made a major distinction.
“I think he’s good for the sport. Obviously he’s someone that is different. He goes about his tennis, he goes about his off court things in his own authentic way,” Djokovic told reporters.
“I have respect for him. I have respect for everyone else really because everyone has a right and freedom to choose how they want to express themselves, what they want to do. My respect goes to him for the tennis he’s playing.
“I think he’s very talented guy. He’s got a big game. He has proven that he has a quality to beat any player really in the world in the past.
“Off the court, I don’t have much respect for him, to be honest. That’s where I’ll close it. I really don’t have any further comments for him, his own comments for me or anything else he’s trying to do.”
It’s the latest instalment of the pair’s feud which dates back several years.
“I just feel like he (Djokovic) has a sick obsession, wanting to be liked,” Kyrgios told the No Challenges Remaining podcast in 2019.
“He just wants to be like Roger (Federer). He just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him.”
Kyrgios was also critical of Djokovic’s decision to run the Adria Tour in Europe last August, in the midst of the pandemic, which saw players filmed partying without masks in packed nightclubs.
“Unfortunately when he was supposed to show some leadership and humility he went missing. Majority would say he has taken an L regardless,” the Canberran tweeted at the time.