Novak Djokovic issues brutal response to Nick Kyrgios ahead of Australian Open
Novak Djokovic defeats Zverev to reach ATP finals last four
Novak Djokovic has claimed he hasn’t got much respect for Nick Kyrgios and his outspokenness ahead of the Australian Open. The Serb was recently called a ‘tool’ by the outspoken tennis star. And he’s now issued a brutal response.
Kyrgios recently slammed Djokovic over his Australian Open demands, labelling the Serb ‘a tool’.
It wasn’t the first time the 25-year-old had fired shots at the Serb, having also slammed him for his decision to host the Adria Tour exhibition series last year during the height of the coronavirus crisis.
And Djokovic has now responded, admitting Kyrgios is good for the sport while insisting he has little respect for his outspoken ways.
“I think he’s good for the sport,” he said.
“Obviously he’s someone that is different. He goes about his tennis, he goes about his off court things in his own authentic way.
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“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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Eurosport pundit Boris Becker thinks Djokovic is very much the man to beat at the Australian Open.
The Serb has won eight Grand Slams at the Rod Laver Arena over the years, with his first triumph coming back in 2008.
And Becker said: “It’s not the first time Djokovic has faced headwind.
“You have to take a stand for him, because he hasn’t always been treated fairly in the media. He knows how to deal with it.
“During my time with him, I’ve seen him almost as a street fighter who fears nothing and is not afraid of opposition.
“He’s the best in class and also responsible for the other players, so to speak.
“But that makes him stronger because he’s been through this for years.
“He has already won the Australian Open eight times and is the top favorite in the tournament.
“Everyone else knows what it means to play against Djokovic in Melbourne.”
The strict guidelines in place have meant a lack of competitive matches for all players heading into the first Grand Slam of the year.
And Becker believes even Djokovic will find it tough to get up to full speed without much practice heading into the tournament.
“They all have one problem: They don’t have enough matches. They all start from scratch, that’s the big unknown,” Becker added.
“Every favourite is afraid of the first round, all the favourites have to find themselves in the first week.
“Even Novak Djokovic is not someone who plays his best tennis at the drop of a hat.
“Due to the lack of preparation from all players, this Australian Open is perhaps more open than ever before.”
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