Novak Djokovic on Nick Kyrgios: I don’t think he’s a bad guy, but I’m not losing sleep over criticism
Novak Djokovic insists he is “not losing any sleep” over Nick Kyrgios’ “wave of criticisms” against him, but admits he is not sure why the Australian “is saying all these things”.
Kyrgios didn’t hold back during an interview on the No Challenges Remaining tennis podcast in May as he came out swinging against world No 1 Djokovic as well as Rafael Nadal.
He accused Djokovic of having a “sick obsession with being liked” while he described Nadal as being “super salty”.
After keeping quiet for more than a month, Djokovic finally responded to the criticism after a practice session at the Janko Tipsarevic academy in Belgrade.
“Honestly, I genuinely don’t think he is a bad guy,” the Serb said.
“I don’t know why Kyrgios says all these things. Whether he is seeking attention or has some other motive, he obviously wants to be sincere and transparent. It’s the way he is, I respect that like I respect all other players on tour.
“He can say what he wants, I don’t have a problem with it. Does he show me the same amount of respect that most other players do? No, he doesn’t, but that’s the way he communicates these days.”
The 15-time Grand Slam winner revealed that he offered Kyrgios help a few years ago, but is a bit confused why he is suddenly public enemy number one.
“Before he unleashed this wave of criticisms against me, I actually met him off court during a US Open tournament, five years ago I think, and talked to him a bit,” he said.
“It was at a time when everyone was on his case because of his antics.
“I offered help in the sense that I told him he could always come and talk to me if he needed to, because I faced similar situations and the same kind of criticism for my behaviour when I was younger.
“But something changed inside him from that point on. I’d never had that kind of problem with anyone else on tour but I am not losing any sleep over it. I don’t understand why or what happened but I don’t judge him.”
More from Tennis365:
High praise for Emma Raducanu from Simona Halep as Romanian highlights US Open champion’s feature qualities
“I think what impressed me was her aggressiveness,” says Simona Halep.
WTA Finals race between Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit heats up as Tunisian jokingly urges rival to ‘back off’
Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit enjoy some online banter.
‘Becoming the No 1 in the world is still the goal’ for ‘experienced’ Daniil Medvedev
“If I’ll catch up with him this year, excellent, but if not I will try to do it down the road.”
‘I am proud of putting myself in a position to compete with the top guys,’ says Andy Murray
“It has been amazing that I have been able to even get back and be playing,” says Murray.
Novak Djokovic and co to be given Australian Open lifeline? Leaked email suggests vaccination policy U-turn
Policy U-turn set to open door for unvaccinated players?
Jannik Sinner and Aslan Karatsev are big ATP Tour winners on finals Sunday
Aslan Karatsev won the VTB Kremlin Cup.
Emma Raducanu opens up on her coaching dilemma as she aims to shine in Romania
Raducanu is relaxed at the prospect of finishing the season without a coach.
Comment – Andy Murray has the answers he needs as he decides what happens next
Murray should appreciate that a chastening handful of defeats should offer him the ray of light he has been seeking.
WTA Transylvania Open draw: Potential Simona Halep and Emma Raducanu blockbuster semi-final looming
This way for your Transylvania Open draw.
Tennis icon Billie Jean King explains why she admires Ons Jabeur and why she wants the Tunisian to succeed
Billie Jean King is certainly a big fan of Ons Jabeur.