Nick Kyrgios sends tennis fans into frenzy with Novak Djokovic reveal
Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic are seemingly putting years of animosity behind them - but it all depends on one big decision.
After years of animosity, Nick Kyrgios has given the most obvious sign yet that he has well and truly buried the hatchet with his fierce rival, Novak Djokovic. The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up caught fans' attention with a post on his Instagram story on Tuesday which hinted at what would once have been considered the most unlikely of team-ups.
Kyrgios was a stern critic of Djokovic for years, frequently attacking the Serbian superstar for trying too hard to be liked, as well as clashing over the latter's actions during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Since Djokovic's deportation from Australia prior to the Australian Open in 2022 though, Kyrgios' attitude has relaxed towards the 20-time grand slam champion.
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Few could have predicted though, that the newfound respect between Kyrgios and Djokovic would culminate in a doubles partnership - however that's exactly what Kyrgios says is on the cards. In response to a fan's comment about the burgeoning friendship, Kyrgios stated the pair would play together at Indian Wells inn 2023 if Djokovic is allowed to return to the United States.
Djokovic's visa ban for attempting to enter Australia while unvaccinated was overturned late last year, with the 35-year-old making a quiet return to the country ahead of the Australian Open. He's set to play in the Adelaide International before the season-opening grand slam at Melbourne Park.
The US remains off-limits for Djokovic, with his continued refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19 precluding him from entering the country. He was not allowed to enter for last year's US Open, which was won by Daniil Medvedev.
“If Novak is allowed in the USA we are playing doubles at INDIAN WELLS 👀👀👀 y’all ready?" Kyrgios posted on his Instagram. His comment was in response to a fan who had said the 'bromance' between the pair was 'mode on'.
Kyrgios has consistently praised Djokovic since the pair squared off in last year's Wimbledon final, in which the Serbian triumphed in an engaging 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (3) contest.
Please do it
— Diego Cabrejas (@dicabrejas) December 27, 2022
new bromance and respect since he lost to Djokovic at Wimbledon
— MO (@kmar_NY) December 27, 2022
That would be lit!!!
The Best server and the best returner in the same team!! 👍👍💪💪
— Lena T (@jt22145225) December 27, 2022
This is the only doubles team that could get me to watch doubles.
— Hi (@HighSpizzle) December 27, 2022
Brilliant news, it is gonna be fun!
— Sandra (@drsanjci) December 27, 2022
things we love to see 😍
— George Coles (@george_coless) December 27, 2022
Novak Djokovic touches down in Australia a year after deportation
The nine-time Australian Open champion was initially facing a ban of three years from the country as a result. However the current government chose to wave that decision and grant him a visa to return for the 2023 edition.
Australia has since lifted requirements for overseas visitors to show proof of vaccination and the country is getting back to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic. It means Djokovic could enter the country on Tuesday night free from the media frenzy that greeted his arrival in January.
Djokovic's travel plans were largely a secret, with none of the media and photographers at the airport like we've seen in the past two years. He reportedly left the airport via a back exit and was kept out of the public eye.
Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley said earlier on Tuesday that he hoped Aussie fans would embrace Djokovic's return. "We welcome him back to Australia," he told reporters. "I think as we speak he's landing in Adelaide and I think that he is going to be again the player to beat.
"I have a great deal of confidence in the Australian public. I have a lot of confidence that the fans will react how we hope they will react."
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