He was once Novak Djokovic’s biggest critic, but Nick Kyrgios’ Instagram activity leading up to today’s final shows how things have changed.
We doubt they will be that friendly on Center Court.
Nick Kyrgios talks about his “bromance” with Novak Djokovic at his last press conference before the Wimbledon final on Sunday night, and the couple embrace their newfound love for each other.
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Just 18 months ago, Kyrgios told reporters at the 2021 Australian Open that he “didn’t like” the Serbian star “at all”, but after the Canberran became one of the few players to publicly support Djokovic during his deportation earlier this year, the duo became unlikely allies.
After re-posting Serbian journalist Sasa Ozmo’s tweet about the rivals’ improved relationship in his Instagram story, Kyrgios asked Djokovic if they were “friends now”.
Djokovic responded on his Instagram account, writing: “If you invite me for a drink or dinner, I accept. PS tomorrow’s winner pays.”
Kyrgios continued the banter, answering: “We agreed, let’s go to a nightclub and go nuts.”
On Sunday, social media posts received a lot of attention from the tennis world as the posts went viral. Presenter and presenter Blair Henley tweeted, “Welcome to the twilight zone.”
Tennis writer Eric Goodries said that Wimbledon “just got weirder”, while journalist and podcaster Ben Rothenberg added, “It’s getting weirder.”
The tennis channel tweeted: “What a bromance! Will we see @NickKyrgios and @DjokerNole together at the nightclub after the match (laugh emoji)?”
D’Arcy Maine of ESPN responded, “It definitely feels like a bromance to me.”
Ozmo himself re-posted the exchange on Twitter with three laughing/crying emojis.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Kyrgios explained how he left criticized Djokovic for his behavior during the pandemic respect the man he faces in the most important match of his career.
“We’re definitely in a romantic relationship now, which is weird,” Kyrgios said.
“Everyone knows that for a while there was no lost love. I think it was good for the sport. Every time we played each other, there was a buzz around it. It was interesting for the media, the people who watched, and all that.
“I felt like I was almost the only player who stood up for him in all the drama at the Australian Open. I feel that this is where they deserve respect. Not on the tennis court, but when there is a real crisis and someone stands up for you.
“Now we actually send each other messages in private messages on Instagram. It’s really weird. Earlier this week, he said: “I hope to see you on Sunday.”
When told about Kyrgios’ remarks, Djokovic said: “I don’t know if it’s a bromance, but we have a much better relationship. I have a lot of respect for him for supporting me in January.”
“Honestly, as a tennis fan, I’m glad he’s in the final because he has so much talent,” Djokovic added after beating Cameron Norrie in the semi-finals. “For the quality player that he is, this is where he needs to be and he deserves it.”
The subtleties between the two are far from 2019, when Kyrgios stated that Djokovic “just wants to be Federer” and criticized his post-match celebration where he walked to the center of the court and greeted all four parts of the crowd like a Swiss master.
“I feel like he wants to please me so much that I just can’t stand him,” Kyrgios said. No calls left podcast.
“This festive thing is worthy of horror.
“He is incredible, a champion of the sport, one of the greatest we have ever seen. I think he will win the Grand Slams and beat Federer.
“But we’re talking about a guy who pulled out of the Australian Open for one year because it was too hot. No matter how many Grand Slams he wins, for me he will never be the greatest.
“Novak just annoys me the wrong way. He always says what he thinks he needs to say, not his actual opinion.
“The holiday is killing me. Every time he does it, it just kills me.”
Kyrgios has nothing but respect for Djokovic these days and called the 20-time Grand Slam champion a “winner” when asked ahead of Sunday’s decider match if he was ready to step up and lead the post-Big Three era.
No. No. No, I don’t know,” Kyrgios said. “I don’t think anyone can take these places. We have a lot of young players coming up… but no one can replace them.
“We will never see an opponent like Rafa again. You will never see anyone as comfortable with a racquet as Roger. And you will never see anyone who just wins and plays as well as Djokovic.
“When they leave, I’m not sure (where tennis will go). If I ever get to lift a Grand Slam trophy, please don’t make me do another one.”
Originally published as ‘Weird’ Kyrgios-Djokovic swap goes viral ahead of Wimbledon final