Australian Open - Nick Kyrgios hits back at 'strange cat' Novak Djokovic, 'partying during pandemic'
Nick Kyrgios has responded to Novak Djokovic after the world number one said he had no respect for the Australian off the court. The comments came from Kyrgios after both players won through in straight sets at the Australian Open and represents an escalation of the growing feud between the pair. Watch the Australian Open on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts after playing a 'tweener' between the legs shot in his Men's Singles first round match against Frederico Ferreira Silva of Portugal during day one of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park
"Here we go. It's a strange one for me, because, you know, I read his comments, he said he doesn't respect me off the court," Kyrgios said.
"I'm, like, it actually would make complete sense to me if he was like, 'Look, I don't respect the guy on the court,' because I understand if he doesn't agree with some of my antics on the court that I have done in the past.
But I'm not quite sure how he can't respect me off the court. I feel like I've gone about things extremely well, especially during the pandemic.
"I was driving around delivering food to people during the pandemic that didn't or couldn't get the supplies. I was extremely careful about what I was doing. I didn't want to spread the virus to anyone. Now I'm actually trying to donate meal kits to people that need food. I have my foundation.
"So it's very strange to me as to why he would say he doesn't respect me off the court. I actually do a lot off the court.
He's a very strange cat, Novak is. Heck of a tennis player, but unfortunately someone that's partying with his shirt off during a global pandemic, I don't know if I can take any slack from that man. That's as bad as it gets for me.
'That's as bad as it gets for me' - Kyrgios hits back at 'very strange cat' Djokovic
The Australian then went on to add his thoughts on the greatest-of-all-time debate.
"I think in my opinion I believe Roger is the greatest of all time. With his skill set, the way he plays the game, I think it's pure," he continued.
"I actually think talent-wise Nadal and Djokovic aren't even close to Roger. Talent-wise, just purely based on talent the way Federer plays, his hands, his serving, his volleys, untouchable."
Earlier, during his match, the 25-year-old let out his frustrations on his supporters' box, asking to have one member of his entourage removed.
'Tell your girlfriend to get out of my box!' - Kyrgios lets rip mid-match
Earlier in the match he again berated members of his box for apparently not giving him sufficient support.
'Are you guys awake?' - Watch Kyrgios get angry with his box after point
The Australian will next take on 29th seed Ugo Humbert of France in the second round.