Nick Kyrgois has criticised Novak Djokovic for staging a tennis exhibition tournament during the coronavirus pandemic.But this isn’t the first time the pair have traded barbs.
Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios has been vocal about men’s tennis’ world number one Novak Djokovic’s attempt to restart tennis through his exhibition Adria Tour in the Balkans.
As a result of the tour, a number of players, including Djokovic, have contracted coronavirus - something Kyrgios was happy to call Djokovic out on.
But this isn’t the first time the duo have taken aim at each other.
Last year, Kyrgios criticised Djokovic for trying too hard to be liked, saying “he just wants to be like Roger.”
“I feel like he just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him,” Kyrgios told the No Challenges Remaining Podcast.
In response to the critique, Djokovic said he thought deep down Kyrgios wasn’t such a bad guy, but felt he didn’t show him the same level of respect he shows other players.
“I don’t know why Kyrgios says all these things. Whether he is seeking attention or has some other motive,” Djokovic said.
“He can say what he wants, I don’t have a problem with it. Does he show me the same amount of respect that most other players do? No, he doesn’t, but that’s the way he communicates these days.”
Kyrgios was also seen showing up to watch one of Djokovic’s tennis matches in 2019 - heckling from the crowd.
The latest beef between the two came after Djokovic announced the Adria tour at the end of May, the world number one said at the time: "I am delighted that Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev will be my guests here in my hometown."
In recent days, the tournament has been cancelled after Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki, along with Djokovic, tested positive for COVID-19 during its run in Serbia and Croatia.
On Monday, Borna Coric shared he had tested positive with COVID-19. Kyrgios in response called the decision to go ahead with the tour boneheaded on Twitter. He wished them a speedy recovery but perfaced it with “that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE.”
What’s thought to be the source of the outbreak among players was a party during the run of the tournament. The party broke social distancing guidelines, and in attendance were some of the tennis players and Djokovic’s physical trainer.
Janosik Garcia who shared the video on Twitter said, “A party led to a massive contagion of #coronavirus in tennis players. Croatian tennis player Borna Coric, himself and Djokovic's physical trainer were infected; Marco Panichi, and Dimitrov's coach Cristian Groh, as well as Dimitrov, who was the first.”
Kyrgois responding to the release of the video wrote on Twitter, “Prayers up to all the players that have contracted Covid - 19. Don’t @ me for anything I’ve done that has been ‘irresponsible’ or classified as ‘stupidity’ - this takes the cake.”
Djokovic later apologised about the tournament on Twitter after testing positive with coronavirus.