The maverick Australian called the Serbian’s ill-fated Adria Tour in June ‘boneheaded’ and described Djokovic as a ‘tool’ last week when he wrote to Australian Open organisers asking for the easing of quarantine conditions.
It was the latest in a long line of criticism from the Australian ace directed at the world No.1, and former president of the ATP Player Council.
Kyrgios on Tuesday said he would continue to call out the 17-times Grand Slam champion.
‘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,’ he said in an interview with CNN
‘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 was not alone among his compatriots in objecting to what were portrayed as Djokovic’s ‘demands’ in his letter to Australian Open organisers.
Djokovic hit back at the critics, however, saying his good intentions had been ‘misconstrued’.
Nick Kyrgios is not backing down in his criticism of ‘the LeBron James on tennis’, revealing he plans to keep calling out any poor behaviour from Novak Djokovic
World number one Novak Djokovic (pictured right with his wife Jelena Ristic) was described as a ‘tool’ by Kyrgios when he asked to ease quarantine restrictions for the Australian Open
Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 after the Adria Tour, an exhibition tournament the Serbian created at the height of the pandemic.
Croatia’s Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Serbian Viktor Troicki also tested positive.
‘When he was doing some of the things he was doing during the global pandemic, it just wasn’t the right time,’ Kyrgios said.
‘I know everyone makes mistakes, some of us go off track sometimes, and I think we have to hold each other accountable.
Novak Djokovic had to undertake hotel quarantine in Adelaide upon their arrival ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne (pictured)
‘We’re colleagues at the end of the day; we compete against each other, we play in the same sport.
‘No one else was really holding him (Djokovic) accountable. Everyone loses their way a little bit but I think he just needs to pull it back.
‘I’m not doing any of this sort of stuff for media attention: these are the morals I’ve grown up with and I was just trying to do my part.’
Kyrgios reacts during his Men’s Singles fourth round match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open