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.

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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

https://twitter.com/NickKyrgios/status/1150210777162190848?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1150210777162190848%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mamamia.com.au%2Fnick-kyrgios-novak-djokovic%2F

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

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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