Nick Kyrgios has taken his bitter feud with Novak Djokovic to a strange new level, turning up to watch the Serb’s doubles match at the ATP Cup at midnight.
Fans were slightly confused when Kyrgios and a number of friends showed up at Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane on Monday night during Djokovic and Viktor Troicki’s clash with Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France.
‘PATHETIC BEHAVIOUR’: Tennis world erupts over star's 'disgusting' act
The doubles clash was the third and final rubber of the tie and didn’t get underway until the late hours of the night.
Yet there was Kyrgios, sitting in the stands with some mates dressed all in black.
The bizarre scenes were only made more bizarre by social media reports that Kyrgios was openly cheering for the French pair, delighting in Djokovic’s every mistake.
One Serbian fan posted in a Novak Djokovic fan group on Tuesday morning about Kyrgios’ “surprise visit.”
“This moron and his group of thug mates dressed in black turned up, sat in eye view of Nole and blatantly stood up and cheered and sniggered at Serbia’s errors. What an idiot!” the post reads.
Someone from a Nole fan group on Facebook posted this commentary of the matches today. I’ve highlighted what they witnessed first hand regarding Kyrgios’s behaviour 🙄 Prize idiot! Otherwise, what an exciting day! I’ve omitted the name for privacy reasons #NoleFam #TeamSerbia pic.twitter.com/e2cCe4E2AS— NovakDjokovicUKFan - Linda🐊 (@DjokovicUk) January 6, 2020
Kyrgios looked legitimately insane while wildly celebrating points French team winning/Serbia losing.— ank (@anknorth) January 6, 2020
Exactly why I said I respect what he is doing to raise money for Australia, but that’s separate from his poor attitude outside of that. Looks like his obsession carried over to 2020.— Christian (@ItsMeCree_) January 6, 2020
Wow, a new low!— Katie 🎾🇨🇦 (@momshwa) January 6, 2020
Thats true, we were there ... then after they moved to team france side...— binkybee12 (@binkybee12) January 7, 2020
Kyrgios definitely heckling Djokovic from the crowd.— tranquilø (@Kareemerer) January 6, 2020
Latest chapter in Kyrgios-Djokovic spat
Kyrgios ignited the feud with Djokovic early last year in a memorable podcast with well-known tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg, in which he said Djokovic “just wants to be liked”.
“I just feel like he has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked,” Kyrgios told the No Challenges Remaning Podcast.
“He just wants to be like Roger. For me personally — I don’t care right now, I’ve come this far — I feel like he just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him.”
After Djokovic took a subtle dig back by ‘liking’ an Instagram post featuring comments from John McEnroe about Kyrgios’ wasted potential, the Aussie was filmed scribbling out ‘Novak’ on a fan’s shirt with a marker.
“This is what I think of you,” he said to the camera.
Djokovic, eyeing an eighth Australian Open title later this month, was impressive in a 6-3 6-2 win over world No.9 Gael Monfils in his singles tie on Monday night.
But it was the decisive doubles rubber that was the highlight, Djokovic and Troicki winning 6-3 6-7 (7-5) 10-3 in an electric battle that stretched well beyond midnight.
The victory takes Serbia to 2-0 in the inaugural teams tournament and a lock for Sydney's quarter-finals - joining unbeaten Australia - ahead of Wednesday's final group clash with Chile in Brisbane.