The dust just doesn't seem to settle on Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour disaster. Whenever it feels like the tennis world is moving on, leaving behind the entire mess, some incident or another takes us back to the shocking events of the World No. 1's exhibition tournament.
Alexander Zverev seems to be distancing himself from the criticism of fans, hoping that silence and time would be more forgiving, while Novak Djokovic has only given out short, cryptic messages. But Dominic Thiem hasn't shied away from replying to media questions in detail, and that has now elicited even more backlash - specifically, from Nick Kyrgios.
Dominic Thiem wanted Nick Kyrgios to get off the backs of Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev
World No. 3 Dominic Thiem vociferously defended his off-court friend Alexander Zverev after the latter was seen partying in Monaco despite having promised to self-isolate for a fortnight. Thiem admitted that the German made a mistake, but also asked the fans - and Nick Kyrgios - to get off his back.
Nick Kyrgios had been very vocal in his criticism of the Adria Tour trio on social media. But Thiem reminded Kyrgios of his own past mistakes, asking the Aussie to 'come clean instead of criticizing others'.
The World No. 3 also came out in defense of Novak Djokovic. Thiem said he "doesn't understand" the criticism directed at the Adria Tour organizer, as Djokovic "didn't commit a crime".
As expected, these pointed comments from Dominic Thiem have drawn a sharp response from the Twitterati in general and Nick Kyrgios in particular.
'You don't have the intellectual level to understand' - Nick Kyrgios to Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem's comments didn't go down well with fans on social media. Most were shocked at the baseless parallels drawn between Kyrgios' past actions - which didn't cause much harm to anyone but himself - and the recklessness on display at the Adria Tour, which put a good number of people at risk of contracting the virus.
A large number of tennis journalists, who for the most part of Nick Kyrgios' career have been his most fervent enemies, came out in defense of the mercurial Aussie too. US-based journalist Ben Rothenberg pointed out that Nick Kyrgios has nothing to "come clean" about, as insinuated by Dominic Thiem.
Nick Kyrgios, acting true to his image, didn't waste time in wording a thunderous reply to the three-time Slam finalist - while also throwing some shade in the direction of Novak Djokovic.
At first Kyrgios expressed surprised at Dominic Thiem's comments, saying he didn't know where the Austrian was coming from. He asked Thiem to explain how his on-court antics - which include smashing rackets, swearing and tanking away matches without effort - compare to what the Adria Tour trio have been responsible for.
Nick Kyrgios also questioned Dominic Thiem's intellect and slammed the World No. 3 for not having enough clarity and 'intellectual level' to understand Kyrgios' concerns.
Nick Kyrgios then proceeded to brand Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev with his favorite slur - "potatoes". He said Dominic Thiem's comments imply that he - along with Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev - think of COVID-19 as 'a joke' and were never serious about the disease.
Kyrgios also called out Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev again for partying at a nightclub and making light of the virus, referring to the infamous shirtless party in Belgrade.
The Australian finally pointed out how insensitive Thiem's defense of his partners-in-crime sounded when we are in the middle of a pandemic that has caused loss of human lives.
Nick Kyrgios' reply is being lauded by the entire tennis world. The once-misunderstood 'bad boy' of the sport has been gaining a lot of popularity among fans lately.Published 08 Jul 2020, 13:28 IST