Nick Kyrgios has explained his reasons for publicly criticising Novak Djokovic after the Serbian tennis star called for Australian quarantine restrictions to be relaxed.
The controversial Australian tennis star labelled Djokovic a “tool” when the world number one called for shorter isolation periods, better food and access to more equipment for players taking part in the Australian Open.
Kyrgios has now come out to clarify those comments, explaining to CNN that he feels Djokovic has to be held accountable by other top tennis players.
Djokovic is a tool. I don’t mind Bernie but his Mrs obviously has no perspective, ridiculous scenes 🤦🏽♂️ https://t.co/MMgeriH2GJ
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) January 18, 2021
“He is one of our leaders of our sport. He’s technically our LeBron James in the way he has to be setting an example for all tennis players.
“When he was doing some of the things he was doing during the global pandemic, it just wasn’t the right time. I know everyone makes mistakes, some of us go off track sometimes, and I think we have to hold each other accountable.
“No one else was really holding him accountable. Everyone loses their way a little bit but I think he just needs to pull it back,” Kyrgios explained.
‘I use my position of privilege to be of service.’
Djokovic, who has 17 Grand Slam titles during his illustrious tennis career, claimed his comments were “misconstrued” pointing out that he wasn’t being subjected to strict quarantine unlike many of his colleagues.
“It is very difficult for me to be a mere onlooker knowing how much every help, gesture, and good word mattered to me when I was small and insignificant in the world pecking order.
“Hence, I use my position of privilege to be of service as much as I can where and when needed,” Djokovic said.
The Australian Open starts on the 8th of February in Melbourne, where Djokovic will hope to retain his men’s singles title after defeating Dominic Thiem in the decideder last year.