Todd Woodbridge has come to the defence of Nick Kyrgios following his fellow Australian’s controversial comments about Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
In a no-holding back interview with the No Challenges Podcast, Kyrgios told journalist Ben Rothenberg that 17-time Grand Slam winner Nadal was “super salty” and admitted he “doesn’t like” world No 1 Djokovic.
A day after the interview was aired, he exited the Italian Open in controversial fashion as he was defaulted from his match against Casper Ruud after smashing a racket, kicking a water bottle and throwing a chair.
Nadal’s uncle and former coach Toni Nadal described Kyrgios’ attitude as “pretty painful”, but the Australian was unfazed by the critism.
And now doubles great Woodbridge has come out and said members of his team “should have a look at themselves” as they put unnecessary pressure on him by allowing him to do the interview.
“He did an interview the day before, they had a rainout, complete washout on the day,” he told Sports Sunday.
“There’s a journo (New York Times writer Rothenberg) that’s been baiting him for two years on Twitter; they’ve been going back and forth, Nick and the journalist.
“He got a lot of applause; ‘Oh, isn’t it wonderful that he’s so open and telling it how it is’. But he reality is that 50 per cent of the locker room like those blokes; at least, maybe more. So, he’s ostracised.
“He got baited to do this, he got caught. Anybody that was in his team that allowed him to do that should be having a look at themselves, because what they did and what he did was put himself under so much pressure to go out to his next match [vs Ruud].
“His first match against [Daniil] Medvedev, he actually played quite well and threw off all the rhythm [of his opponent] and all sorts of stuff.
“But the next time he’s playing a qualifier [Ruud], who’s in good form because he’s won matches to get through to that round, and then the expectation changes and there’s pressure on himself. So he’s loaded himself up to behave this way, and he doesn’t handle that well.”
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