World No.1 Novak Djokovic yesterday said he had little respect for Nick Kyrgios’ off-court antics after the polarising Australian recently called him “a tool”.
Kyrgios has waged a running battle with the Serb in recent times, sparked by Djokovic’s coronavirus-ravaged Adria Tour exhibition series last year as the pandemic raged.
After blasting his “stupidity” when several players who took part contracted Covid-19, Kyrgios also quickly weighed in when Djokovic was sensationally disqualified from the US Open for hitting a woman line judge in the throat with a ball.
And last month, he dismissed him as a “tool” after the Serb issued a list of demands for quarantined players who arrived on charter flights for the Australian Open.
Djokovic, who starts his bid for an 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open tomorrow, said he had mixed views on Kyrgios.
“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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, World No.2 Rafa Nadal is struggling with a back injury ahead of his with a first-round match against Serbian Laslo Djere tomorrow.
He says: “I hope to be ready, that's all. I know sometimes things change quickly. I’m going to keep staying positive and keep doing everything I can.”