Lorraine slams Novak Djokovic over Covid vaccine
Rafael Nadal will take on Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s Australian Open final, with the Spaniard bidding to become the first male player to win 21 Grand Slams. At present, Nadal has won the same number of Grand Slams as rivals Roger Federer and Djokovic, who are both absent from this year’s Australian Open due to injury and a Covid vaccine row controversy respectively. On the eve of the tournament, Djokovic was deported from Australia on public interest grounds as he is unvaccinated against Covid.
The world no1, who has won a record nine Australian Opens, was held by border force officials upon arriving into the country and was ultimately made to return to his native Serbia.
While the game’s most lauded athletes, including Nadal, threw their support behind the decision which prevented Djokovic competing in the tournament, one of the Serbian’s biggest rivals, Kyrgios, surprised many by defending the star.
Some tennis fans were miffed by the enigmatic Australian’s shock support for Djokovic, considering the pair have long endured a tense relationship.
In 2019, Kyrgios even labelled Djokovic “cringe-worthy” in a scathing rant about the Serbian.
Djokovic was branded ‘cringe-worthy’ by Nick Kyrgios
Rafael Nadal will take on Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s Australian Open final
Speaking on the No Challenges Remaining podcast, the Canberra-born star said: “I just feel like he has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked.
“He just wants to be like Roger. For me personally, I don’t care, I’ve come this far.
“I feel like he just wants to be liked so much more that I just can’t stand him.”
Kyrgios, who will compete alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis in tomorrow’s all-Australian doubles final, was also critical of Djokovic’s ‘boob throwing’ celebration.
Djokovic was deported from Australia on public interest grounds
He said: “This whole thing that he does after matches, it’s so cringe-worthy. It’s very cringe-worthy.
“He’s an unbelievable player, he’s a champion of the sport, one of the greatest we’ll ever see.
“He probably will, honestly, I reckon he will get the Grand Slam count. I reckon he will overpass Federer.
“We’re talking about a guy who pulled out of the Australian Open one year because it was too hot.
Rafael Nadal dropped major hint over retirement [OPINION]
Novak Djokovic’s future as world no 1 thrown into peril[ANALYSIS]
Rafael Nadal’s serving routine angered Nick Kyrgios: ‘It’s bull****’[INSIGHT]
Kyrgios will compete alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis in tomorrow’s all-Australian doubles final
“No matter how many Grand Slams he wins, he will never be the greatest for me.
“Simply because, I’ve played him twice and I’m sorry but if you can’t beat me, you’re not the greatest of all time.
“Because if you look at my day-to-day routine and how much I train and how much I put in, it’s zero compared to him.”
The pair have only played one-another twice, at the 2017 Mexican Open and the Indian Wells Masters the same year.
Kyrgios supported Djokovic after the Serbian’s deportation
Both times Kyrgios, who is currently world no 115, came out on top.
At the time of Kyrgios’ scathing comments, Djokovic refused to address them and stressed that he “wasn’t losing sleep” over the Australian’s rant.
However the pair’s relationship appears to be much improved after Kyrgios’ staunch defence of Djokovic during the world no 1’s vaccine controversy.
Speaking on the No Boundaries podcast, Kyrgios said: “I was not the one he was expecting to go out in the media and have his back. As a human he’s obviously feeling quite alienated in all of this.
“As a human, that’s a dangerous place to be in ‒ when you feel the world is against you, like you can’t do anything right.”
Kyrgios also revealed that Djokovic had reached out to him and said “thank you for standing up for me” after the Serbian was deported.
He said: “Me and Novak have a bromance now, he’s back in detention and it’s f***ed.
“We are boys now. I can’t wait until the Aussie summer is over and we can play ball.
“The party after Melbourne is going to be f***ing nuts. I’ll rent a house and just go f***ing nuts.”