Novak Djokovic Praises Nick Kyrgios For Support In Tough Times

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Novak Djokovic said Thursday he wants to play a practice match against Nick Kyrgios ahead of the Australian Open, the latest improvement in the once-icy relationship. The pair had rarely seen eye-to-eye previously, with the estranged Australian once calling the 21-time Grand Slam champion “a tool”. But their relationship warmed when Kyrgios became one of the few players to support Djokovic in his Australia deportation saga a year ago over his Covid vaccination status.

“I haven’t been his favorite guy — let’s put it this way — for many years,” Djokovic said in Adelaide, where he is preparing for the Australian Open.

“But he was one of the few people who stood by me last year, and I respect and appreciate that.

“That’s when you actually see who really supports you and who’s on your side and who goes along with, I guess, the flow of society and the media puts pressure on you.

“He gave me undivided support at a time when I was very challenged, and I respected him a lot as an Australian. Since then, our relationship has changed for the better.”

That has changed so much that they plan to train together at Melbourne Park next week, as Kyrgios recovers from an ankle injury.

“Well, we’re talking about doing something with the Australian Open a week before the tournament starts,” he said.

“Yeah, I chatted with Nick, and I want to play with him, and he agreed, but he wants a smaller set. Let’s see if it works.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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