Aussie maverick Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from an exhibition event in Berlin delaying a showdown with Alexander Zverev after his public callout of the World No.7.
Kyrgios has publicly condemned the likes of Novak Djokovic and Zverev and his no-nonsense approach to safety adhering to safety measures during the pandemic has won him plenty of fans.
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But in the latest twist in the public spat, Kyrgios has withdrawn from the mens and womens tournament from July 13-19 in the German capital.
This followed Zverev also withdrawing from the competition.
“When we got Nick Kyrgios involved in May, this development wasn’t to be expected,” said tournament director Edwin Weindorfer.
“Time is extremely short, but we will do everything we can to find possible last-minute options.”
Kyrgios hits back at Thiem
The Austrian star accused Kyrgios of levelling ‘cheap’ criticism at Djokovic and others in the wake of the ill-fated Adria Tour last month.
In an interview with Austrian outlet Tiroler Tageszeitung, Thiem said Kyrgios’ time would be better spent adjusting his own on-court behaviour.
“Kyrgios has built a lot of nonsense himself,” he said.
“I understand even less when he interferes with everything.
What are you talking about @ThiemDomi ? Mistakes like smashing rackets? Swearing? Tanking a few matches here or there? Which everyone does? None of you have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from. I’m trying to hold them accountable.— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) July 7, 2020
Thiem later went on to defend Zverev for his ‘mistake’ in attending a party hours after Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19, saying criticism of both players was ‘cheap’.
But Kyrgios wasn’t having any of it and stood his ground.
“What are you talking about @ThiemDomi,” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
“Mistakes like smashing rackets? Swearing? Tanking a few matches here or there? Which everyone does?
“None of you have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from. I’m trying to hold them accountable.”