World No.1 Novak Djokovic has taken a huge swipe at Aussie Nick Kyrgios as he prepares to defend his Australian Open crown.
Kyrgios and Djokovic don’t share the best relationship and the Aussie was quick to call out the World No.1 last year during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Australian tennis star labelled Djokovic as ‘boneheaded’ after going ahead with his ill-fated Adria Tour tournament as the global pandemic wreaked havoc.
More recently, Kyrgios called Djokovic a ‘tool’ after it was revealed the World No.1 had emailed Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley over requests for players in hard quarantine.
But now, Djokovic has taken a huge swipe at the Aussie claiming he ‘doesn’t respect him’ off the court.
"I think he's good for the sport," Djokovic told reporters.
"He's someone that is different and goes about his tennis (and) his off-court things in his own authentic way. I have respect for him.
"I have respect for everyone else really because everyone has a right and freedom to choose how they want to express themselves and what they want to do.
"My respect goes to him for the tennis he's playing. I think he's a very talented guy, he's got a big game and he's proven that he has a quality to beat any player in the world.
"Off the court I don't have much respect for him to be honest. That's where I'll close it.
"I don't really have any further comments for him and his own comments for me or anything else he's trying to do."
Kyrgios set to miss crowd support
Kyrgios will open his Australian Open campaign against World No.184 Frederico Silva.
But he admitted he will be missing the energy of a full stadium at Rod Laver Arena after the crowd capacity was reduced to 50 per cent.
"It feels strange. I don't think I'm going to experience as good of memories as I have here previously," Kyrgios said.
"Last year when I played (Karen) Khachanov or (Rafael) Nadal, every single person in the stadium was going nuts."
Kyrgios said the lack of a parochial crowd will definitely favour some players.
"Yeah, it's a tough one," Kyrgios said.
"I don't know, I think it definitely favours some other players, playing with bare minimum crowds.
"It's going to be tough. Especially in your home backyard ... If I'm down two sets to love - I've been down like that before and come back and won.
"If there's no crowd that day, I'm probably not going to win.
"(But) that's the way it is right now. I can't complain about it."
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