Nick Kyrgios news: Outspoken Aussie hits back at rival’s criticism, saying ‘it comes from a place of jealousy’

Nick Kyrgios talks to the media

Nick Kyrgios has fired back at suggestions that his behaviour was disrespectful during his Australian Open men’s doubles title run, saying some of the comments “come from a place of jealousy”.

The 26-year-old teamed up with fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis to win the hard-court Grand Slam just under a fortnight ago, but their on-court and off-court antics certainly ruffled a few feathers.

Kyrgios had an altercation with Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic’s entourage after the second-round win while Michael Venus from New Zealand, who went down in the quarter-final with partner Tim Puetz, described the Australian as “an absolute knob”.

Finals opponent Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell were also unimpressed with Special Ks – the nickname Kyrgios and Kokkinakis were given – as they also criticised their opponents’ exploits.

Kyrgios, though, was never going to hold back when asked about the remarks.

“When people like Matthew Ebden says the behaviour was disrespectful, do you think that someone like him would say, who doesn’t understand the situation,” he told ABC’s 7.30.

“No disrespect, it is Matt Ebden, do you know what I mean? I have my own foundation. I help kids.

“I’m more than a tennis player. That comes from a place of jealousy to comment on our success and what we’re doing off the court.”

The former world No 13 also came in for some stick after he suggested that he and Kokkinakis created a better atmosphere and did better in the TV ratings than women’s singles champion Ashleigh Barty.

“I would say that we’ve created probably the best atmosphere this tournament has ever seen,” he told a press conference after the finals.

He added: “The ratings speak for themselves. People watch my matches, everywhere I play around the world the stadiums are full for that reason.

“So I don’t think those people that are screaming out before points, that’s got nothing to do with us.”

He clarified his comments in the ABC interview.

“I never was trying to compete with Ash. I just said I think our doubles created higher ratings than the men’s final which is saying something,” he said.

“I never wanted to bring Ash or be disrespectful at all.

“When everyone sees the whole story, it is really not a story at all, but obviously when it gets perceived in a way and manipulated then it looks like I’m attacking her when she knows deep down, why would I do that? Why would I do that?”