Novak Djokovic has revealed he is hoping he can fulfil his promise with Nick Kyrgios while at the Australian Open following their unlikely friendship struck up at the 2022 Wimbledon final. Last year, Djokovic defeated Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final to claim his 21st grand slam title.
However, the narrative leading up to the final was surrounding the end to their bitter relationship that had teetered for years. Kyrgios has previously hit out at Djokovic on a number of occasions throughout his career.
However, things took a turn when Kyrgios became vocal about Djokovic's situation at the Australian Open in 2022 and called for players to defend the then World No.1. This sparked a change in the relationship and ahead of their much-anticipated Wimbledon final, Djokovic and Kyrgios agreed the winner would take the other out for dinner.
And in an interview with Tennis Majors, Djokovic has revealed the duo have not had the chance to catch up since the final. But is hoping they could unite while in Melbourne, which will also see them play an exhibition match together on Friday. "No, still no dinner, but Melbourne is going to be an opportunity to do that," he told Tennis Majors.
Djokovic even claimed he would be welcomed in Serbia after his staunch defence of him while he was in Australia.
"As for the Serbia Open, considering that he was one of the very few people who stood by me and supported me in Australia, I think that people back home have changed their opinion about him in a positive way – many people are now eager to see him play," he added.
"We are having conversations, we had them last year as well. We would love to have him there, I think that he would enjoy his time there and that he would have a lot of support."
Kyrgios even stated that he would be willing to play a doubles match with Djokovic in 2023, which would no doubt bring a packed stadium to the tournament. Before the Adelaide International, Djokovic admitted that he wasn't always Kyrgios' 'favourite' guy in the tour.
“I wasn’t his favourite guy – let’s say it that way – for many years,” Djokovic said. “But he was one of the very few that stood by me last year, and I respect that and appreciate that.
“In those moments you can actually see who truly supports you and who is by your side and who goes with, I guess, the flow of the society and the pressures that media puts on you.
“He was giving me undivided support in the moments where I was being challenged a lot, and him as an Australian, I respected that a lot. Since then, our relationship has changed for better.”
Nick Kyrgios hits out over criticism
Meanwhile, Kyrgios has hit out over the critics that claim he is bad for the sport after his exhibition match against Djokovic took less than 60 minutes to sell out. The Aussie took a swipe at his critics on social media.
“Wow Nick Kyrgios is bad for the sport! Wow what a disgrace, a national embarrassment! How dare he sell out another stadium, the arrogance,” Kyrgios tweeted in response.
The match between the Aussie and the 21-time grand slam winner is one of several practice matches being played on Rod Laver Arena before the Australian Open gets underway. Unfortunately for Djokovic, he is carrying a hamstring injury into the match after hurting himself at the Adelaide International.
This prompted him to end his session with Daniil Medvedev early on Wednesday after he received treatment.
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