Sport is made all the more entertaining by some off the field drama, or in this case, off the court.
In the other corner stands Novak Djokovic, one of tennis’ all-time greats who has sullied his legacy with last year’s disastrous Adria Tour, and a daft list of demands ahead of this year’s Australian Open.
Yes, Australia can welcome tennis players from across the globe, but don’t you dare ask their cricketers to get on a plane to South Africa.
Kygrios was very outspoken about Djokovic’s flagrant disregard for COVID-19 safety precautions last year, and called him a “tool” after those demands were made, which the Serbian wasn’t going to take lying down.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Australian Open, the world number one fired back:
I’ll root for almost anybody who plays Djokovic, but he has a point.
Of course, it wasn’t long before Kyrgios was asked for his thoughts on the above comments.
Mention your charity work, and get in a few digs about those infamous no-shirt dance videos – a solid retort:
If I had to call this one, I would go with Kyrgios by TKO, although Djokovic could point to his trophy cabinet and bank balance to shift things in his favour.
Tomorrow, Kyrgios will face 29th seed Ugo Humbert in the second round, with Djokovic taking on unseeded American Frances Tiafoe.
It’s unlikely that we will see the two tangle on the court at the Australian Open, which is a pity, but I’m sure there will be plenty of barbs shared through the media to keep the rivalry brewing.
Perhaps somebody can organise a Djokovic and Nadal versus Kyrgios and Federer doubles exhibition match soon. We know Nadal and Federer get on well, but I reckon the other two could rival Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras for spiciness.
Who can forget one of the most awkward on-court exchanges you’ll ever witness?
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