Kyrgios "Isn't a bad guy" says Djokovic, despite podcast slur

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on June 19, 2019 - Duration: 01:15s

Kyrgios "Isn't a bad guy" says Djokovic, despite podcast slur

"He isn't a bad guy" says Novak Djokovic of Nick Kyrgios, despite the Australian recently describing the Serb in a podcast as having a "sick obsession" over his popularity.


Kyrgios "Isn't a bad guy" says Djokovic, despite podcast slur

SHOWS: BELGRADE, SERBIA (JUNE 19, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC TRAINING 2.

(SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) SERBIAN TENNIS PLAYER, NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SAYING (ON NICK KYRGIOS CRITICISM): "I say again, this sort of communication and relationship is in his character, but I honestly think he isn't a bad guy.

I had an opportunity to become acquainted with him before he began with that attack and waves of public criticism aimed at me, and, when everybody criticised him because of his behaviour, at the US Open some five years ago, I even approached him and offered some sort of assistance, in a sense that he could talk to me should he need anything, because I too faced much criticism at the start of my career, I had to go through similar situations and... I don't know, something changed since then.

That's it." 3.

DJOKOVIC HANDING SWEAT BANDS TO CHILDREN 4.

REPORTERS AND FANS TAKING PHOTOS OF DJOKOVIC STORY: Serbian tennis star and world number one player Novak Djokovic on Wednesday (June 19) shrugged off Nick Kyrgios' stinging remarks aimed at him.

While speaking to tennis writer Ben Rothenberg on the 'No Challenges Remaining' podcast last month, Kyrgios described Djokovic as someone who has a "sick obsession" with being as popular as Swiss rival Roger Federer.

Kyrgios made the comments during the Italian Open in Rome where he was expelled from the tournament during his second-round match with Norwegian Casper Ruud after hurling a chair onto the court.

During the podcast, Kyrgios also ripped into Spaniard Rafael Nadal and his uncle Toni.

After the Australian was defaulted from the tournament in Rome, he pulled out of the French Open having used expletive language to describe the event at Roland Garros.

Despite all that tantrum, Djokovic, who was preparing for this year's July 1-14 Wimbledon tournament in the sweltering heat of a hardcourt complex in central Belgrade, showed a degree of sympathy for the Australian.

"He isn't a bad guy," Djokovic said of Kyrgios after a two-hour practice session at a tennis academy managed by his close friend Janko Tipsarevic, a member od Serbia's 2010 Davis Cup winning team.

(Production: Fedja Grulovic)

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