It was certainly not uncommon in the past for Nick Kyrgios to attack Novak Djokovic.
However, Djokovic has found an unlikely ally in Kyrgios, with the Australian-Greek tennis player slamming the Australian Immigration Minister’s decision to cancel the visa for a second time.
Speaking on his No Boundaries podcast, Kyrgios said: “This Hawke guy is like, ‘He’s a threat to our borders and I’m just like, ‘Well no he’s not’. We’re treating him like he’s a weapon of mass destruction at the moment, but he’s literally here to play tennis.”
He added: “I honestly want him to f***ing win the event, I think it would be f***ing awesome. I want to walk around Melbourne with Novak’s mask on my face.
“I just think if Australia as a whole dealt with Covid better, if the people of Melbourne didn’t get so f***ed over by everything in these f***ing rules, I don’t think this would be such a big issue.”
The Greek-Australian also revealed that Djokovic had thanked him for his public message of support, with Kyrgios taking aim at the players – notably Nadal – who have criticised the defending Australian Open champion.
He continued: “It actually p***es me off how [Stefanos] Tsitsipas and Nadal and stuff are all… obviously everyone has got their opinion, and that’s fine, I understand Nadal and Tsitsipas all have to speak out about it when they get asked.
“But I feel like we’re only treating him like Novak Djokovic, not like a human. Imagine how he’s feeling, he probably just wants a little bit of support from other players.
“He’s getting it from me! Like, what the f***?
“I just feel like these athletes should give him some support. I’m sure if Nadal was in a similar situation he would be looking towards his other fellow athletes to stand up for him and help him.
“Novak has reached out to me personally over Instagram to say thank you for standing up for him, I was not the one he was expecting to go out in the media and have his back.
“I think he’s obviously feeling quite alienated in all of this and as a human, it’s a dangerous place to be when you feel like the world is against you and you can’t do anything right and all he wants to do is come here and play tennis. I think on a human level he needs some support from other tennis players.
“Tsitsipas we understand you have your views on f***ing vaccination, [Andy] Murray we can always count on you to say the right thing, and like Nadal whatever… but bro, where’s your support for the guy?
Reading out the message he received from Djokovic, Kyrgios added: “He goes: ‘Trying to actually understand the situation and have a bit of objectivity rather than fire all bullets right away, I appreciate that thank you.’
“So he’s just asking for a bit of understanding, that’s literally what he’s saying.”