'Pull it back': Nick Kyrgios doubles down over Novak Djokovic dig

Nick Kyrgios (pictured right) during an interview at the Australian Open and Novak Djokovic (pictured left) after a point.
Nick Kyrgios (pictured right) has doubled down on his criticism of Novak Djokovic (pictured left). (Getty Images)

Aussie tennis sensation Nick Kyrgios has doubled down in his criticism of Novak Djokovic following the World No.1’s correspondence with Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley.

Kyrgios took a shot at the Serbian star after he asked for a list of recommendations to Tiley be met for Australian Open players who had landed in hard quarantine.

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Djokovic’s email, which was swiftly knocked back by Australian Open boss Craig Tiley, was enough for Kyrgios to label him a ‘tool’.

The World No.1 insisted he was not being "selfish, difficult and ungrateful" in speaking out about quarantine conditions for players ahead of the Australian Open.

But Kyrgios, a die-hard NBA fan, compared the eight-time Australian Open winner's influence to that of LA Lakers superstar LeBron James.

And therefore, Kyrgios called for him to be setting a better example.

"(Djokovic is) one of our leaders of our sport. He's technically our LeBron James in the way he has to be setting an example for all tennis players," Kyrgios told CNN.

"When he was doing some of the things he was doing during the global pandemic, it just wasn't the right time.

"I know everyone makes mistakes, some of us go off track sometimes, and I think we have to hold each other accountable.

Novak Djokovic smiles at fans from a hotel balcony in Adelaide, South Australia on January 20, 2021.
Novak Djokovic smiles at fans from a hotel balcony in Adelaide, South Australia on January 20, 2021. (Photo by MORGAN SETTE/AFP via Getty Images)

"We're colleagues at the end of the day; we compete against each other, we play in the same sport.

"No one else was really holding him (Djokovic) accountable. Everyone loses their way a little bit but I think he just needs to pull it back.

"I'm not doing any of this sort of stuff for media attention: these are the morals I've grown up with and I was just trying to do my part."

Jim Courier defends Novak Djokovic

However, commentator and former World No.1 Courier says the backlash was unfair against Djokovic, who he insists was only looking out for his fellow competitors.

“Novak has gone out of his way to stand up for other players in Australia,” Courier told Nine News.

“He was being a leader and it just came off wrong in the public and I hope the Australian public will give him another chance to at least explain himself.”

with AAP

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