The bitter feud between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios is showing no signs of abating, with Kyrgios recently taking another jibe at Djokovic. This time, Kyrgios has openly admitted to disliking Djokovic, while also seemingly mocking the Serb's trademark celebration.
Novak Djokovic had earlier given his thoughts on Nick Kyrgios - a long-standing critic of his - by saying that he doesn't hold the Australian in high regard off the pitch. The Serb did, however, laud Kyrgios for his tennis skills.
Not one to let his nemesis have the last word, Nick Kyrgios has hit back at the World No. 1 with his recent actions and comments. Ahead of his doubles match with Thanasi Kokkinakis (against Koolhof / Kubot) on Sunday, Kyrgios imitated the Serb’s famous 'heart-throwing' celebration.
Interestingly enough, the gesture was directed to empty stands, as fans have now been banned from attending the 2021 Australian Open.
Kyrgios (and Kokkinakis) lost the match, and in the post-match press conference Kyrgios explained the reason behind his act. Tongue firmly in cheek, the 25-year-old stated that he was trying to 'spread the good word'.
“Just feeling the love, just trying to spread the good word of the celebration,” Kyrgios said. “Everyone loves that celebration. It’s well-liked.”
The Australian also asserted that his actions didn't bear any ill will towards Novak Djokovic. He then went on to reveal that he is well-aware of Djokovic’s animosity towards himself, before adding that he harbors similar feelings towards the Serb.
“It’s nothing malicious, we just like to have some fun,” Kyrgios said. “Look, looking around there’s literally just blue, and we’re like, wow, this is tough. But we’re just trying to have some fun. Novak, I’m sure, doesn’t like me and we both have respect for each other, but I don’t like him at all, so it’s fun.”
Nick Kyrgios even labeled his antics as 'banter', and opined that his colleagues tend to have a very solemn outlook whereas he himself is driven by the lighter side of things.
“I know tennis players are very serious, so I think that’s why we’ve kind of got a bit of energy about us,” explained the Australian. “We just banter anyway. When we tweet or when we just do stuff, it’s for fun, you know, like you can’t take it all too seriously.”
Nick Kyrgios mocks Novak Djokovic’s injury claims
Novak Djokovic seemingly injured himself during his third-round match against Taylor Fritz. The Serb struggled to move after the second set, and saw his two-set to love lead fade away quickly.
Djokovic fought through the pain and ousted Fritz in five sets, but skipped his training session the next day to undergo scans. Djokovic also expressed his fears of suffering a muscle tear in his abdomen, which many - including Nick Kyrgios - are struggling to believe.
Commenting on Taylor Fritz’s Instagram post, Nick Kyrgios took a jibe at Novak Djokovic’s condition, indirectly questioning the severity of the Serb’s injury.
“Imma take a medical real quick Fritzy, I’ll be back in 2 hours,” Kyrgios commented.