Novak Djokovic re-ignites Nick Kyrgios feud with subtle swipe

Novak Djokovic has generally avoided added fuel to the fire when it comes to his beef with Nick Kyrgios.

Despite the controversial Australian’s repeated barbs, Djokovic has largely played down the feud.

But with Wimbledon over and done with and the Serbian superstar back on top of the world rankings, Djokovic allowed himself one slight, subtle shot at Kyrgios.

Fellow tennis bad boy John McEnroe has praised and criticised Kyrgios in equal measure, and continued that trend in a post-Wimbledon interview.

The American champion all but accused Kyrgios of wasting his potential, saying his match against Rafael Nadal was one of the best of the tournament, but said he “doesn’t show up” against lower ranked opponents.

Novak Djokovic has taken a sly dig at Nick Kyrgios. Image: Getty

“The guy would be top five in the world for sure if he was able to do it (play with effort),” McEnroe told the BBC.

“He’s got an incredible – this is my opinion – fear of failure. He doesn’t even allow himself to train hard enough to give himself a chance.

“You saw what he is capable of, he was driving Nadal crazy, it was the best second-round match, one of the best matches of the whole tournament.

“But when he plays guys he’s supposed to beat, he doesn’t even show up.”

EMBARRASSING: Shocking graph that puts Bernard Tomic to shame

McEnroe’s comment about Kyrgios’ top five potential was posted to Instagram, where none other than Djokovic liked it - in what some have interpreted as a cheeky dig at the Aussie firebrand.

Eagle-eyed fans quickly spotted Novak Djokovic's 'like' of this post discussing Nick Kyrgios. Picture: Instagram/@tennissportwalkin

Of course, Kyrgios is hardly going to lose any sleep over it. Where Djokovic trades in subtlety, Kyrgios clearly prefers to lay his cards on the table.

‘CHOKE’: Eugenie Bouchard trolls Roger Federer over Wimbledon loss

His memorable podcast with well-known tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg earlier this year, in which he said Djokovic “just wants to be liked”.

“I just feel like he has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked,” Kyrgios told the No Challenges Remaning Podcast.

“He just wants to be like Roger. For me personally — I don’t care right now, I’ve come this far — I feel like he just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him.”