A Guide To The Rocky Relationship Between Novak Djokovic And Nick Kyrgios - UBITENNIS
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A Guide To The Rocky Relationship Between Novak Djokovic And Nick Kyrgios

This is what the players are saying about each other now and this what they have said about each other in the past.



image via twitter.com/wimbledon

Reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic says his relationship with Nick Kyrgios has improved in recent months but stops short of agreeing with the Australian that the two are forming a bromance. 


The two tennis stars will clash for the Wimbledon title on Sunday. Djokovic saw off Britain’s Cameron Norrie in four sets and Nick Kyrgios received a walkover due to Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal. It will be the first time the two have played each other on the Tour since 2017. The year where Kyrgios won both of their encounters in straight sets. 

“I haven’t practiced with him or played with him since the last time I lost to him,” Djokovic told reporters on Friday evening. 

“On grass, I would assume it’s even tougher to read his serve and to return because he has so many free points. You could see that throughout this tournament, as well. He just puts additional pressure on your serve. He moves well. He’s got great hands. A very complete player.”

Publicly both players have said they have formed greater respect for each other during what has been a roller-coaster relationship between the two. Kyrgios once said that the Serbian had a ‘sick obsession‘ with being liked, his post-match celebration was ‘cringeworthy’ and branded him a ‘tool’ last year when it was reported he had requested for an easing of covid-19 restrictions for players at the Australian Open. In return, Djokovic had previously said that he ‘doesn’t have much respect’ for the Australian off the court. 

However, a change in their relationship began in January when Djokovic was involved in a high-profile legal battle with Australian authorities over the legitimacy of his visa due to being unvaccinated against covid. Kyrgios was one of the few players to speak out in support of the former world No.1. The world No.42 says a ‘bromance’ has formed between the two but the 20-time Grand Slam winner isn’t too sure.

“I don’t know if I can call it a bromance yet, but we have a better relationship than what it was probably prior to January this year,” he commented.

“But when it was really tough for me in Australia, he was one of the very few players that came out publicly and supported me and stood by me. That’s something I truly appreciate. So I respect him for that a lot.”

The fact that Kyrgios has reached his first Grand Slam final at the age of 27 is something his rival believes is a positive for the sport. He has endured a roller-coaster career where at times he contemplated walking away from the sport permanently. Furthermore, Kyrgios can be a controversial character due to his on-court antics at times. He has already been fined $14,000 at Wimbledon for unsportsmanlike conduct. 

“It seems like mentally he’s at a better state than what he was some years ago,” said Djokovic.

“As time passes by, you’re maturing, you’re understanding yourself what you need to do to get yourself to the best possible, optimal state of mind, body, and soul in order to perform your best.”

Of course, with a Wimbledon title on the line, you can expect this mutual respect to be put on ice when they play against each other. It will also be curious to see how Djokovic reacts should his opponent start his unorthodox behavior such as arguing with the line officials and so on. Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was knocked out of the tournament by Kyrgios, has gone as far as accusing him of bullying. An allegation he denies. 

“I guess it’s going to be a game of small margins. I hope I can be at the desired level, then really it’s a mental game in the end, who stays tougher and calmer in the decisive moments.” He concludes. 

The two tennis titans appear to be getting on well but in the past that was far from the case…..

The Djokovic-Kyrgios feud in quotes

“I just feel like he [Djokovic] has a sick obsession, wanting to be liked. He just wants to be like Roger [Federer]. He just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him. This whole celebration thing (blowing kisses to the crowd) that he does after matches, it’s like so cringeworthy. It’s very cringeworthy.”

Nick Kyrgios – No challenges Remaining podcast 2019 (NOTE: Djokovic said ‘he wasn’t losing sleep’ in response to that comment)

 “What can I say to Nick Kyrgios. I think he’s not really a bad guy. I do not know why he declares all these things, whether he wants to draw attention or some motive is different.”

Djokovic to Sportklub in June 2019


Djokovic was playing Federer in the Wimbledon final that day

“It’s bad because I don’t think Novak did anything wrong to him. He decides to pick on Novak for no reason. You can come on the court and do whatever you want, but you need to respect your opponent.”

Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic to The Telegraph in 2019

‘I think you are better than Djokovic. Djokovic was playing dodgeball on my serve and you were slapping it for a winner. He was trying to dodge it, you were on it like a light.’

Kyrgios to Andy Murray during an Instagram Live session after he has ‘six glasses of wine.’ 

“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.”

Kyrgios commented on players dancing at a party during the Adria Tour. An event founded by Djokovic that took place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“No matter how many majors Novak wins, he will never be the greatest to me. I played against him twice, and if he can’t beat me, you are not the greatest of all time.”

Kyrgios to the Herald Sun in January 2021

“Off the court, I don’t have much respect for him, to be honest. That’s where I’ll close it. I really don’t have any further comments for him, his own comments for me or anything else he’s trying to do.”

Djokovic during the 2021 Australian Open


Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.



(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.


The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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