Nick Kyrgios has taken an angry swipe at a number of Australian tennis greats after insisting that Lleyton Hewitt is the only one to have stood by him throughout his tennis career.
Kyrgios was speaking ahead of his first appearance in a grand slam final at Wimbledon, where he will face 20-time grand slam champion, Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic recovered from a shaky start to keep his quest for a fourth straight Wimbledon title alive, courtesy of a 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 semi-final triumph over British local hope, Cameron Norrie.
The comeback victory set the stage for an enthralling championship showdown Kyrgios, who's hoping to become Australia's first men's champion at the All England Club since Hewitt 20 years ago.
Kyrgios was gifted passage into the final after 22-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal was forced to withdraw from their semi-final due to injury.
The Aussie's incredible run to the final has not come without its controversy, with a looming court date, on-court fines and accusations of 'bullying' and 'cheating' looming large over the controversial Aussie.
The 27-year-old told reporters at a pre-Wimbledon final press conference that he felt let down by some of the legends of Australian tennis.
"Look, the greats of Australian tennis, they haven't always been the nicest to me personally. They haven't always been supportive," Kyrgios said.
"They haven't been supportive these two weeks. So it's hard for me to kind of read things that they say about me.
"For instance, when I saw Ash Barty in the final of Australia, I was nothing but happy. I would never say a bad word about an Australian making a final. Like that's just me.
"And the kind of only great that's ever been supportive of me the whole time has been Lleyton Hewitt. Like he knows.
"He's our Davis Cup captain, and he kind of knows that I kind of do my own thing. I'm definitely the outcast of the Australian players.
"He knows to kind of keep his distance and just let me do me. He just sends me a message here or there, 'Keep going'. That's literally it. Just, 'Well done. Keep going'.
"It's pretty sad because I don't get any support from any of the other Australian tennis players, the male side - not the (current) players, but like the past greats.
"It's weird they just have like a sick obsession with tearing me down for some reason."
The Aussie's words were no doubt more than a thinly veiled swipe at Aussie legend Pat Cash, who unloaded on his compatriot last week.
Nick Kyrgios disappointed by Australian criticism
The 1987 Wimbledon champion accused Kyrgios of "cheating", "manipulating" and "abusing" opponents and officials and generally taking "tennis to the lowest level I can see".
A polarising figure, Kyrgios said he didn't know why he was treated so poorly by the greats.
"Like, I just don't know whether they don't like me or they're, like, afraid. I don't know. I don't know what it is," he said.
"But it sucks, because if it was roles reversed, if I saw (Alex) de Minaur in a final, or if I saw Jordan Thompson or Thanasi (Kokkinakis), I'd be pumped. I'd be stoked.
"I'd be having a pint watching, going nuts. So I don't know. Shout-out to Lleyton, I guess."
Kyrgios, who even spent a couple of hours hitting with Hewitt on Sydney's grass courts last month before flying out for Europe, will be trying to stop Djokovic claiming a fourth straight Wimbledon title at the All England Club.
Kyrgios is striving to become the first unseeded player to win Wimbledon since Goran Ivanisevic - now Djokovic's coach - in 2001.
The Canberran has won both previous meetings with Djokovic, both on hard courts back in 2017 in Acapulco and Indian Wells.
"Well, one thing is for sure - there's going to be a lot of fireworks for sure emotionally from both of us," Djokovic said on court.
"Going to be his first grand slam final; he doesn't have much to lose and he's always playing like that.
"He's playing so freely, has one of the biggest serves in the game. Just a big game overall, a lot of power in his shots.
"We haven't played for some time. I've never won a set off him so, hopefully, it can be different this time."
Kyrgios said he never dreamed of making a Wimbledon final.
"I never thought I'd be here at all, to be brutally honest with you," Kyrgios said in his pre-final press conference on Friday.
"I had a shocking sleep last night, to be honest. I probably got an hour's sleep just with everything, like the excitement.
"I had so much anxiety, I was already feeling so nervous, and I don't feel nervous usually.
"I just know there's a lot of people that want me to do well and give my best. But I had a shocking sleep last night.
"Hopefully, I can get some sleep tonight."
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